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A central film from revered Hungarian auteur Márta Mészáros (the Diary trilogy), Adoption powerfully contrasts the destinies of two modern Hungarian women brought together by the essential need for simple human contact. Photographed in a restrained black and white style and featuring performances of unusual subtlety and honesty, Adoption was awarded Best Picture at the 1975 Berlin Film Festival. Widowed, financially secure and involved with a married man, forty-three year old Kata yearns for the motherhood she instinctively knows will push her out of personal ambivalence. Though having little in common, Kata befriends Anna, a rebellious teenage girl consigned to a woman's shelter and unaccustomed to anything more than perfunctory charity. In spite of mind games and harsh words, an unlikely bond grows between the two women. Kata's yearning for the clarity of motherhood inadvertently exposes the vulnerability underneath Anna's cynical bad-girl exterior. As their relationship grows, Kata probes the limits of her middle-aged limbo just as Anna resists the suffocation of a youth stripped of hope. Rich in candid characterizations and sincere poignance, Adoption coaxes possibility from desperation and tenderness from neglect. Exploring deep personal yearnings with graceful nuance while indicting a cruel patriarchal social system without any mention of politics, Adoption is both an earnest drama and a realist gem. Arguably the most prodigious woman director in the history of cinema, with over sixty films to her credit, Adoption reflects Márta Mészáros at the height of her powers.

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KI3702 Adoption DVD (1975/Marta Mesazros) $29.95 $26.99