Red Spalm

In the 1890s on a large Hungarian estate owned by a wealthy count, a group of striking farm workers wait for a reply to their demands. The army moves in, but there is a temporary respite from hostilities when they all join in a festive dance. Then the strikers are fixed upon. Only 28 shots are used in the entire film to convey, almost exclusively in symbols a pattern of tyranny and revolution. Colour takes an emblematic meaning, especially red. A hand wound is turned into a red rosette, a river runs red with blood, and a woman in a red shift shoots down soldiers with a pistol wrapped in a red ribbon. Music is especially important; the narrative action is delineated as much by music and song as by the rather abstract, depersonalized dialogue. Beyond that, music universalizes the film's theme. Aside from Hungarian folk songs that tell of the events depicted in the film and the repetition of a key song in multiple contexts, Jancso's music, which includes a Scottish ballad and the French "Marseillaise", suggests that all revolutions are part of one continuing revolution. "It seems to me that life is a continual movement. In a procession, a demonstration, there's movement all the time, isn't there? It's physical and it's also philosophical: the contradiction is founded on movement, the movement of the masses... A man also is surrounded, threatened by oppression: the camera movements I create suggest that too."
Hungary
'
1971

Director
Miklos Jancso

Script
Gyula Hernadi

Cinematography
Janos Kende

Editing
Zoltan Farkas

Production
Mafilm Studio

Cast
Andras Balint
Andrea Drahota
Bertalan Solti
Gyçngyi Bürös
Jozsef Madoras
Lajos Balazsovits
Tibor Molnar
Tibor Orban

Music
Halk Müziği ve Devrimci Şarkılar (Folk music and Revolutionary Songs)

Awards
Best Director
Cannes 1972

Festivals
3rd Festival on Wheels
BEST OF EUROPE