Rokonok / Relatives (Hungary, 2006)

directed by István Szabó, drama, 110 min, eng subtitles


A virtuous man discovers just how deep corruption can run, and how easy one can succumb to it, in this satiric comedy-drama from Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo. When a scandal brings down the attorney general of a small but prosperous community near Budapest, Istvan Kopjass (Sandor Csanyi), a man with a clear record and impeccable ethics, is invited to take over the position. While his wife Lina (Ildiko Toth) is wary of the appointment and wants to avoid uprooting their children, Istvan is convinced he can make positive change and he accepts. However, only a few days after taking his new position, Istvan becomes aware of how challenging his job can be when the town's mayor (Oleg Tabakov) persuades him to abandon plans for a new tax schedule that would lower assessments for the poor. Istvan also discovers nearly everyone he meets claims to be some sort of distant relative, and as a consequence wants some sort of special consideration that he often finds difficult to refuse. Istvan's downfall begins when a less than honest banker (Karoly Eperjes) arranges for him to get a special deal on a large house in exchange for some favours, and things get much worse when the banker's attractive wife (Erika Marozsan) uses her charms to lure Istvan into some serious white collar crime. Rokonok (aka Relatives) was adapted from the novel of the same name by Zsigmond Moricz.


IFF Flanders 2006 (Grand Prix)
IFF Moscow 2006 (Golden St. George award)