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In telling a subtly surreal version of 20th-century history and his parents' marriage, writer-director Frigyes Gödrös combines the known and the imaginary. A Jewish furniture dealer in Budapest marries a Catholic divorcee from Germany under circumstances that illustrate their matchmaker's insight: "Human madness lurks deep within our laws and bureaucracy, finding its way into everyday life." Winking at obvious metaphors, Gödrös enlivens them and dares to use humor and sensual, even sexualized, transitions that sometimes echo the adolescent perspective of the narrator, a character who shares the movie's shifting point of view with his grandfather and father. Time and space are condensed by means both elegant and crafty, and rarely are any of the characters made to be more—or less—than allegorical. 115 min.

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