1981-1990ArthouseHungaryMiklós JancsóPolitics

Miklós Jancsó – Jézus Krisztus horoszkópja AKA Jesus Christ’s Horoscope (1989)

Jézus Krisztus horoszkópja (Jesus Christ Horoscope, 1988) was made as the second film of a tetralogy. This time the theme is directly an agony of Communism. Cserhalmi plays a demonic-looking poet named Josef K (who, contrary to the author of Der Process / The Trial, has his surname spelt “Kaffka”) who in a black hat and a waving coat walks through different flats and hotels in Budapest and has unclear relationships with three women: Márta (Ildikó Bánsági) and ex-policewoman Kata (Dorottya Udvaros) are murdered in mysterious circumstances; Josef K himself then vanishes in the presence of a meteorologist, Juli (Juli Básti).

Meanwhile, a dreary group of nostalgic men recall Stalin in a luxurious restaurant. They recite Lenin’s texts, meet under black umbrellas and bury one of their fighting comrades. Collectively, they represent dark forces. Their actions, recorded by a videocamera, are parodically accompanied by revolutionary melodies adapted in the style of pop tunes. These are songs from Jancsó’s previous films, the same songs that steeled a nation about to plunge into a class struggle (“In the time of prehistoric man, oh…oh…yoho! / There were no poor or rich, oh…oh…yoho…”).

To a great extent, Jézus Krisztus horoszkópja is a film of quotations: we watch a documentary about an official visit of Nikita Khrushchev in 1958 on the TV, we listen to Lenin’s famous Letter to the Congress containing a critique of Stalin, Josef K tells how Mátyás Rákosi invited an ex-leader of the social democrats, Árpád Szakasits, to dinner in 1950 and let him be arrested, and we hear a disconcertingly long-term meteorological forecast. Jézus Krisztus horoszkópja keeps the grace of a period political “noir film” that testifies to the atmosphere of that short historical era when Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost already opened the questions of taboo past but the old guard of leaders and their security apparatus still had the power in Eastern Europe.

3.11GB | 1h 30m | 1920×1080 | mkv



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