Film Response – The Red and the White

The Red and the White is a 1967 Eastern European film from Hungary directed by Miklos Jancso. In the 1960s films were popping up all over Eastern Europe during the Eastern European New Wave. This movie, with its change of scenes, lack of plot, and continuous panning camera is a perfect example of the Eastern European New Wave film style. The film shows what life was like for the soldiers and the civilians in Hungary during the Russian Civil War. The Red Communists are fighting the Czarist Whites in the USSR. While there is no main plot, the film is able to portray how gruesome war can be for either army, as well as the civilians. The constantly changing scenes keeps the viewer on their toes, and the lack of names for each character keeps the viewer in thought as well. Jancso makes it clear that no army is superior in attitude than the other based on the way they behave to others around them. The two most moral characters unfortunately are killed towards the end of the film, one for being on the other army, and the other for not giving away the ones she cared for. Watching the film, I felt quite confused for the first quarter of the film. After I realized that there was not a strict plot, however, I became more aware of what was going on and began to enjoy the film more. I felt bad for the way the generals treated everyone and how they felt they were superior to all. The movie itself was very entertaining and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in war like films.

Works Cited

STRAUSZ, LASZLO. “THE POLITICS OF STYLE IN MIKLÓS JANCSÓ’S THE RED AND THE WHITE AND THE LORD’S LANTERN IN BUDAPEST.” Film Quarterly 62.3 (2009): 41-47. Film & Television Literature Index. EBSCO. Web. 6 Mar. 2011.

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