From Ildikó Enyedi (whose latest film On Body and Soul scooped four major prizes - including the Golden Bear - at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival) this magical film spins a tale of twin girls, Dóra and Lili, who are born in 1880 Budapest on the same moment Thomas Edison presents his electric lightbulb to the world. The sisters are soon orphaned and separated in childhood, and follow different paths: one grows up to a naïvely idealistic, bomb-toting anarchist, the other a pampered, hedonistic courtesan who paths cross once again on the Orient Express on New Year’s Eve 1899…
Moving at a dizzy pace between Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Burma, Austria, Paris and Siberia, this is a film of dazzling beauty and acumen. It is a modernist fable, a fantasmagoria of scientific, political and sexual revolution and radicalism, the birth of cinema, and the joy of life. Shot in luminous monochrome by cinematographer Tibor Máthé, the multi-award-winning My 20thCentury attempts to claim back from the century of genocide the wonder of existence in a constantly changing world.
1989 Cannes Film Festival / Winner: Camera d’Or - Ildikó Enyedi
1989 Edinburgh International Film Festival / Winner: Jury Prize
1989 Las Vegas International Film Festival / Winner: Special Jury Prize; Best Cinematography
1990 Hungarian Film Week / Winner: Foreign Film Critics Award; Best Director; Best Actress; Best Cinematography
1990 The New York Times ‘10 Best Films of the Year’
Voted by critics in the Top 10 Hungarian films of all time
"My 20th Century is a number of wondrous things... a bracing combination of wit, invention, common sense and lunacy. Superb”
- Vincent Canby, New York Times
“Enyedi's film is a witty, tantalising personal insight into the formative years of this century told with imagination, song and aesthetic devices lifted from silent films"
- Film Society of Lincoln Center
"Abundant with originality. A beautifully assembled collection of black and white images, it bounds along with unhampered, lively confidence"
- The Washington Post
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