Two Half-Times In Hell

Two Half-Times in Hell

A description used by my film critic friend Serhat Öztürk in an article he wrote when “Last Tango in Paris” was once more screened in Turkey years ago, had brought the clearness to a subject I’ve been seeking for a while but could not formulate. “Films that don’t betray their recollections.” For me such films are not many in number and “Two Halftimes in Hell” heads the list. I think I was in Grade 4 or 5 in primary school. In the TV page of the newspaper, I had read that in the evening there was a film on football. I was slowly discovering the fascination of cinema mostly through TV, but I had long ago become snatched by football. Well, I watched it and immediately recorded it in the “those to stay” part of my memory. And then through all my adult period I put this film on the table in any meeting of friends. When after the passage of years pleasure turns into professionalism and you take over the identity of a film critic, you feel the need to face those old accounts once more. This opportunity was created thanks to the Istanbul Film Festival. The black-and-white film I’d seen as a child was to be screened once more. My two basic loves in life, had come together in the same film and Zoltán Fábri’s work did not betray its place in my heart, in spite of all the time past (and childhood criteria holding valid in other periods of life was proven through this film, at least). Well then what’s the virtue of this film that deserves so much praise? In a period where the areas of description of cinema are once more assessed together with visuals and technology, Fábri’s film can be described with an outmoded concept, by the beauty and intensity of its story. In the camp in Ukrania, a real football player, Onodi, becomes defeated by his love for the game and shifts to idealism, pushing politics and merciless conditions aside, but the fact that life itself reminds him of what has been experienced with every step of his constitutes the particular tension of the film. During the selection of a team to play against the Germans, while he seeks pure football, the others are first and foremost after privileged conditions, and then use football as a means of escape. While Onodi tries to prevent all these developments, life will show him that his friends are right. The film is led by a marvelous cast. It also served as a source for Escape to Victory, later shot by John Huston. However, Huston could not display Fábri’s courage and submitted to the demands of popular cinema by giving a happy ending to his film. U ğur Vardan


Zoltan Fabri

Péter Bacsó

Ferenc Szecsenyi

Ferencné Szécsényi

Hunnia Studio

Dezsö Garas
Imre Sinkovits
István Velenczei
Janos Koltai
Laszlo Markus
Sándor Suka
Tibor Molnar
Zoltan Gera

Ferenc Farkas

Boston 1962
Diploma of Merit

5th Festival on Wheels