My 20th Century

The year 1880. In New York City, Thomas Alva Edison stages a brillant demonstration of electricity. Meanwhile, in far-off Budapest, twin girls are born, but soon are orphaned and reduced to begging in the snow. Benefactors seperate them. On New Year's Eve 1899, Dora and Lili take the Orient Express to Budapest, without meeting each other. Dora is now an impostor and has the best of service in the first class compartment, while Lili, the anarchist underground fighter, submerges into the throng in the third class. They are the spitting image of each other but at the same time they are completely different. Both girls become involved with the same mysterious man, Z, with amusing results... Their journey will become a transition from one century into next, from an illuminated beginning towards a darkening sky. Towards the end of the last century, the great inventors provided us with the possibilty of a brand new world. This film tries to show a little of what the 20th century might have been like, had it not been hampered by lack of imagination. "In 1900 it was assumed that conditions were now in place for the earth to become a paradise for all of its inhabitants. It was really only up to Man. Thus, the film deals with people rather than the great historical events... I am grateful to every viewer, who does not look for 'more' or anything else in this film than for the forgiving love we feel towards our own imperfections and awkwardness", says the director. This is a playful, charming first feature with an offbeat, winning style.

Ildiko Enyedi

Ildiko Enyedi

Tibor Mathe

Budapest Film Studio

Dorotha Segda
Gabor Mathe
Oleg Jankowski
Paulus Manker
Peter Andal

Laszlo Vidovszky

Author's Prize
Camera d'Or Cannes; Best Director
Honorable Mention Las Vegas
Jury Prize Budapest; Special Prize of The Charles Chaplin Jury Edinburgh; Main Prize Digne; Best Cinematography

6th Festival on Wheels