Jadviga’s pillow / Jadviga párnája (Hungary 1999)

Jadviga’s pillow Jadviga’s pillow

directed by Deák Krisztina, drama, 130 min, eng subtitles

Our film takes the audience to the 1910’s and 1920’s Hungary, to a region populated mainly by the Slovaks, but above all into a passionately painful marriage and the world of destructive love and sensual sufferings. Nobody is happier than Ondris, who is getting married to the girl of his dreams: he has won his father’s foster-daughter, Jadviga’s heart. He seduced this magically attractive, but dangerously mysterious woman from Germany, where she studied. The playful but fiery tempered passion on one hand and the honest desire for a happy marriage and devotion on the other can give some hope at the beginning. But things get confusing very soon: the presence of the war outside – Ondris is called up and he has to pay a heavy price for going home: Jadviga’s old seducer shows up... Ondris is in danger of losing Jadviga and his happy future. He’s in danger of becoming the instrument in the hand of those who try to quench the Slovakian consciousness. He’s in danger of losing his friends, and of his mother dying in the madness of being unloved. In other words, he may fail as a lover, husband, father and son, just as he flunks as the head of the family and a member of a community. He’s in danger of self-destruction. Jadviga becomes a desperately sad wife, mother and lover because of the impossible desires of others. There’s mutual goodwill and emotional bonding between the couple but nothing can stop the break up...

Hungarian Film Week 2000 (Special Jury Prize)
Salerno IFF 2000 (Grand Prix)
Karlovy Vary IFF 2000 (Crystal Globe nomination)