1981-1990HungaryMiklós Jancsó

Miklós Jancsó – A zsarnok szíve, avagy Boccaccio Magyarországon AKA The Tyrant’s Heart (1981)


It is the 15th c. in Hungary. And young prince Gaspar (Laszlo Galffy) was sent off to Italy when he was just two years old, and now he has come back to his father’s castle as a grown man, with a troupe of actors in tow. Once arrived at the castle, he discovers his mother is in a kind of trance state, reportedly drinking the blood of virgins to keep her forever young (just like the infamous Bloody Lady Elizabeth Bathory). Gaspar’s father has died in very mysterious circumstances – some say it was a bear that killed him (another symbolical, legendary animal in European lore) and others say he was done in by the Turks. Meanwhile, his uncle says the trance-like queen was really in love with him – and sometimes he says not. Yet they marry, and when she comes out of her mesmerized state for awhile she tells Gaspar that just like his friends, none of the castle’s inhabitants are real, they are all actors and she is actually younger than he is – and then she falls back into her trance. As Gaspar seems to have nowhere to turn, a Turk comes into the picture to test him for his worthiness to rule, and says he (the Turk) is really Gaspar’s father. The tests turn out negative, and Gaspar is told he cannot be king. There seems to be no choice but to leave the castle with his troupe of actors, and as the castle opens up onto a vast field, he and his friends – and an underhanded Turkish priest – make a dash for freedom, hoping to elude the weaponry of the Turkish guards behind them. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide


Subtitles:French, Russian, eNGLİSH

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