CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023


Year: 1980
Country: Hungary
Run Time: 110 minutes


While Zoltan Huszarik's film is based on the life of turn-of-the-century Hungarian painter Csontvary, his treatment of the subject is far from an ordinary biographical presentation. An imaginative depiction of the artist's quest for expression of beauty and truth, CSONTVARY concentrates on the psychological aspects not only of the painter, but also of the actor Zoltan Latinovitz, whose life is related in counterpoint. Latinovitz, originally chosen to play Csontvary, committed suicide prior to the shooting of the film. Noting the similarity between the artist's and the actor's psychological instability, Huszarik chose to include Latinovitz's character in the script. Csontvary, who died in 1919 at the age of 65, painted enormous frescoes that portray Hungarian life as well as his impressions of life surrounding Italian ruins. His work was not shown during his lifetime and was disregarded when Hungary became a Communist regime, but it returned to favor in the '50s. The "agony and ecstasy" of his life are delineated by Peter Jankura's discerning camera, from glimpses of the frescoes to Csontvary's confrontations with nature and the distractions of a woman. A difficult story to follow, CSONTVARY's reward is its stunning visual imagery.

"Finally, after eight years, Huszarik has returned with a new feature every bit as personal and deservedly acclaimed as 'Sindbad.'" - Derek Elley, International Film Guide

Istvan Csaszar and Peter Dobai

Peter Jankura

Eva Karmento

Principal Cast
Itzhak Finzi, Istvan Holl, Andrea Drahota, Margit Dajka

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