Kontroll / Control (Hungary, 2003)

directed by Nimród Antal, drama/mystery, 105 min, eng subtitles


Ghost trains and ghostly characters, figuratively speaking of course, are what run through the perpetual night of this fictitious underground (metro) system. Bulcsú's (Sándor Csányi) former life on the surface, where the real people go home after work, go to the movies or a fine restaurant is now replaced by the dark, cold and solitude arena of his new dwellings. He, and his motley crew of ragtag metro ticket Controllers must patrol the trains that run these City dwellers back and forth and perform one daily ritual, i.e. check that no one dare come down into their world for a free ride. With indifferent passengers, a possible love interest, a regime founded on competition and, to top it all off, a mysterious serial killer at large, Kontroll is a dark and bleak comedy of the world of the ticket inspector, who, in the end must keep this Metro system running. If not, what would be the worst that could happen, if they ever lost control?

The massive labyrinthine netherworld that is the Budapest subway system provides the stunning setting for Kontroll, a stylish, high-speed romantic thriller in which the lives of assorted outcasts, lovers, and dreamers cross and collide. One handsome young hero, one mysterious maiden, and one particularly nasty killer conduct a race against time, trains, and destiny itself in their frantic pursuit of one another.


Cannes Film Festival 2004 (Award of the Youth)
European Film Awards 2004 (Best Director Award)
IFF Chicago 2004 (Gold Hugo Award for Best Film)
Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema 2004 (FIPRESCI Prize)
Philadelphia Film Festival 2005 (Audience Award)