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Zabladowski
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Abandoned (Torzók) (2001)
07. Sep 2002 at 15:14
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Writing about Taliesin Jones in another thread has me thinking today about how wishes can come true. The movies that are in the posts which follow are films which I have had the opportunity to see.

Abandoned was the co-grand prize winner at last year's WFF and stars Tamas Meszaros and features several other actors of interest whose names I don't know. I saw it at a different fest and was very moved by the story. The director was at my screening. He mentioned all of the boy performers were non-professionals. A synopsis comes from the website of the Sofia Film fest.

Aron Soproni is a nine year old boy whose parents' marriage has fallen apart in the wake of Hungary's political turmoil following the failed Communist takeover of 1956. Aron has been placed in the custody of his father but discovers that he has little concern for him. Soon the father places Aron in an orphanage which turns out to be a nightmarish place run by sexually predatory fiends. But Aron soon finds friends and they band together against the adults. Aron and the others discover two members of the staff they can trust - a professor of astronomy and a pretty woman who stirs their first romantic longings. Arpad Sopsis has based the film on his own experiences in an institution of abandoned children.

"In the tradition of Louis Malle's "Au Revoir Les Enfants" and other pics that autobiographically depict a grim world of alienated children, Abandoned is strangely beautiful thanks to the impressive camerawork by Peter Szatmari and the perfect performances. The Music by the group After Crying fits in very well."

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« Last Edit: 04. Jul 2008 at 18:07 by Zabladowski »  
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Sir Jacob
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Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #1 - 07. Sep 2002 at 15:22
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Oh, thank you, thank you for bringing this one to our attention, Zabladowski. I hadn't heard of it before, but I just read the IMDB synopsis of it, and your's here, and I really do want to find this one on dvd someday.

Love,
Sir Jacob
  
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Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #2 - 07. Sep 2002 at 15:38
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I saw this film at a special screening at the Canadian Film Institute last spring. I've been meaning to write a review for it here ever since, but I was unable to find any picture from the film. Now Zabladowski beat me to it!

I thought this was an excellent film and I hope I get a chance to see it again. As is often the case, the synopsis puts way too much emphasis on the "sexually predatory fiends" - as I remember it, this was a minor part of the plot.

Here is an excerpt from the comment I wrote for IMDb:

"Set in 1960's Hungary, in a orphanage/boarding school for boys, the film follows young Aron as he tries to adapt to this harsh environment after his father abandons him there.

This films certainly has all the familiar ingredients of the genre: discovering sexuality, dealing with peers, questioning life in general and coping with the unfairness of the adult world. What makes this all fascinating, however, is that it takes place in a very social context and the boy's experience is used to comment on and critique the society it reflects. This is handled very well by the director, without making this strategy seemed contrived and without taking away from the humanity of the characters. (They are not merely cardboard characters manipulated to prove a point.)

Fine performances (by the adult cast as well as the boys) and competent direction add to the film's quality. The story is very moving, although some might be put off by the tragic ending and the rather pessimistic outlook on life that emerges from it. In my view, however, the ending was quite satisfactory, as the director managed to give a sense of tragedy and loss without falling into cheap sentimentality or melodrama."
  
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Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #3 - 08. Sep 2002 at 08:31
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I taped this film when it was screened on World Movies last month. There are a couple of boys in this film that are quite gorgeous. It's an emotionally affecting story and shows the brutality that is often inherent in institutions such as these.

I saw little evidence in the movie that the orphanage was 'run by sexually predatory fiends', there was only one scene in which a boy was told to remove his clothing by an adult administrator,  the boy covered his willy with his hand and the man didn't do anything to the kid apart from threaten him into being his 'spy'.

One of the masters was in fact very caring and kind toward the boys, others were very harsh, but considering the time and the setting it would have been a lot better than living on the street.

My movie rating 9/10
My boy movie rating 9/10
« Last Edit: 08. Feb 2004 at 04:00 by cal-Q-L8 »  
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siathy
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Re: Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #4 - 29. Oct 2004 at 13:07
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To be honest the end of the movie really freak me out... I didnt expect for the end like this... I must say that it is the most wierd film I've ever seem, I think this movie have a brilliant set, brilliant actor, but a wierd director .......
  
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josephk
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Re: Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #5 - 29. Oct 2004 at 13:38
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I don't remember what happens in the end, but I don't think I was very freaked out by it. Can you refresh my memory?
  
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Re: Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #6 - 25. Jan 2006 at 09:42
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i think i is a great flim
  
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Re: Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #7 - 11. Feb 2006 at 10:15
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I own the DVD and after reading these posts I'll have to view it again. One theme I found to be interesting was the religious persecution theme. As I recall one boy is particularly insistant upon praying and organizes the other boys into a little prayer session. One of the adults is quite against such practices at the institution and is rather harsh. I'm not entirely sure if he is motivated by outside political pressure or his own personal beliefs. The decision by the boys to run away in the middle of winter was a little difficult for me to accept... but then cold weather really bugs me... I would have thought that they could have endured the situation until a warmer time of year! I felt a little manipulated by the writer and/or director when the boy fell through the ice.

Overall, though, I thought the movie made a strong attempt to depict an oppressive orphanage in a believable way.
  
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Re: Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #8 - 15. May 2006 at 07:01
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This is a bit annoying because the only version of the film that appears to be on dvd, has English subtitles that cannot be removed.

Why not optional, as most films have?  Is there only a cheap Asian dvd floating around of this film, or is there a better one?
  
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captions
Reply #9 - 15. May 2006 at 22:30
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I just checked my DVD copy of this movie and it doesn't give me the option of removing the captions either. I think I purchased my copy from Amazon (if I remember correctly). In fact, the only options I have are: 1) play movie, 2) select scenes, 3) English trailer, 4) Hungarian trailer. The DVD case references a website ( (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)), but that site doesn't seem to exist.
  
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Re: captions
Reply #10 - 16. May 2006 at 05:31
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Quote:
The DVD case references a website ( (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)), but that site doesn't seem to exist.


now known as (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

Quote:
I just checked my DVD copy of this movie and it doesn't give me the option of removing the captions either.


a lot of the Tales from the Orphange DVDs are the same way.  I have two guesses for the reason... (1) it's cheaper
(2) licensed only for the US, and the owner thinks without the subtitles it will get back to the original country and compete with their own release.

Probably (1) is more likely.
  
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Re: Torzók (2001) aka Abandoned
Reply #11 - 16. May 2006 at 19:14
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Cheaper? It depends on where they get the print for the digital transfer. If they get a print that has the subtitles burnt in, then yeah, definitely it's cheaper to just transfer it as is. Maybe these are prints that were used in English-language festivals that they purchased and then simply transfer to the DVD as is.

But if they had a clean print without subtitles and they burnt in their own subs and then transfered to the DVD that way, I would say that it's not only more trouble to do it that way, but outright stupid!

It is relatively easy and cheap to add as many subtitle streams as you wish to a DVD. Doing it any other way is ridiculous, unless the only print they can get already has the subtitles on it.
  
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Re: Abandoned (Torzók) (2001)
Reply #12 - 07. Feb 2009 at 23:38
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My guess is nearly every version has english subtitles... even this (Russian?) dubbed version has the original Hungarian spoken and English Subs!  Go figure!

(I'll add a link to the youtube site once I get it again, but in the meantime, just go look at the other thread about "Abandoned" ... I added there already)
  
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