The Citizen (Az állampolgár) Love Blossoms in Budapest Between Teacher and African Refugee
Wilson (Cake-Baly Marcelo) escaped to Hungary a number of years ago after his wife and daughters were slaughtered during civil unrest in his African homeland. The 50-something widower opted to seek political asylum in Budapest rather than continue on to Western Europe like most of his fellow refugees.
After all, he’d taken a liking to the town, and found a nice apartment and steady work as a supermarket security guard. Now, the only thing standing in the way of his staying in Hungary permanently is his repeatedly flunking the country’s tough citizenship test.
Not wanting to lose her reliable “Employee of the Year,” his boss Eva (Tunde Szalontay) innocently suggests that he take history and language lessons from her sister, a teacher, never expecting it might cause any trouble. But sparks fly between Wilson and miserably-married Mari (Agnes Mahr), and it’s not long before their tutorial sessions morph into a taboo, whirlwind romance which includes dancing, swimming and dining together.
She finally abandons her husband (Peter Barbinek) and son (Peter Sandor) and moves into Wilson’s flat. The plot thickens further, however, when she discovers that he already has a much younger woman living with him. Might he be a bigamist?
He explains that his relationship with Shirin (Arghavan Shekari), an Iranian refugee, is purely platonic, and that her newborn baby isn’t his. Nevertheless, that doesn’t sit well with Mari, who obviously isn’t comfortable with such an unorthodox arrangement.
Thus unfolds The Citizen, a poignant, cross-cultural love story directed by Roland Vranik (Transmission). What makes the film unique is the advanced age of the protagonists, since most romance dramas revolve around considerably younger couples.
A touching, timely and zany soap opera ostensibly reflecting the sensibilities of the modern Immigration Era.
Excellent (4 stars)
In Hungarian with subtitles
Running time: 109 minutes
Production Studio: Popfilm
Distributor: ArtMattan Productions
OPENING THIS WEEK Kam’s Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun For movies opening August 24, 2018
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The Happytime Murders (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Crime comedy about two private eyes, one human (Melissa McCarthy), one puppet (Bill Barretta), who grudgingly join forces to find the serial killer targeting cast members of a popular puppet show from the 1980s. Cast includes Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks and Joel McHale.
Searching (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, drug references and mature themes) Hi-tech whodunit revolving around a desperate father (John Cho) who looks on his missing 16-year-old daughter’s (Michelle La) laptop computer for clues to her sudden disappearance without a trace. With Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Alex Jayne Go, Megan Liu and Sarah Sohn.
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Papillon (R for profanity, nudity, violence, bloody images and some sexuality) Charlie Hunnam plays the title character in this remake of the 1973 classic based on unjustly-convicted Henri “Papillon”, Charriere’s memoir recounting his and a fellow inmate’s (Rami Malek) daring escape from an infamous penal colony on Devil’s Island. With Tommy Flanagan, Eve Hewson and Roland Moller. (In English and Spanish with subtitles.)
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