Children of Glory
A dark and tightly plotted romance, set against the dramatic backdrop of the tension between the occupied Hungary and the Russians, who invaded and subjugated the country for many years.
Released in 2006, the movie is about the eventual revolt against Russian rule that came in 1956 and cleverly, highlights the so significant water polo match fought by the two countries in the 1956 Olympics. Historically accurate, this movie depicts a time which still evokes powerful emotions in Hungary, their people were controlled but unbowed and the fierce patriotism of the times comes strongly to the fore, used as a binding love which unites the oppressed and strengths their resolve.
All of the characters are strongly written and acted to perfection. Dobo Kata is excellent in the lead and Iván Fenyö; is typically good and a more familiar face to English speaking counties. Károly Gesztesi is tremendous as the polo coach, determined and moving in his simplicity. The acting honours however have to go to the standout
Viki Szávai as Eszter, a character who will not make it all the way through the film and who is played with such realism and ease that it’s hard to believe there’s an actress inhabiting the character at all.
Every one of the characters is very easy to empathise with and connect to, even if many of them are not all that likeable. Direction wise, no punches are pulled with graphic scenes of shootings and brutality being presented unfettered, a reminder of the casual horror of this kind of occupation. Contrasted against this, the love story of the two leads is tremendously effective, and again very believable. These really are people who would give their lives for the other, so powerful and binding is their love.
It’s a thought provoking film, exploring the themes of dying for your country, and what freedom fighters are really fighting for. As such it will leave many concerned and perhaps re evaluating their thoughts. But of course, that is what all the best movies do, make the viewer challenge what they already know. “Children of Glory” is remarkable, compelling and powerful. One to watch again and again, just superb!