Slovak filmmaker Martin Šulík’s striking debut feature is a rich and complex coming-of-age story set against a background of political upheaval and a country in the throws of transformation and revolution.
Simon, a young student, is drawn into a relationship with an older couple, Maria and Viktor, the dynamics of which veer between passion and cruelty. Simon finds himself caught in a love/hate triangle he does not fully comprehend, the key to which is linked to the dark secrets of their past.
Analysing human relations in the early years of post-communism, Tenderness presents a world still profoundly affected by the moral corruption characteristic of the years of following the Soviet invasion of 1968.
“It is the best Slovak feature debut ever.” - Martin Ciel
“A work of considerable formal and visual distinction. Sulik’s precise, sympathetic, and analytical direction heralded the arrival of a major new talent.” - Peter Hames, The Best of Slovak Film 1921-1991
“Inspired by Tarkovsky’s films and Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris.” - Viera Langerová
“A strong and rewarding debut, which combines dry comedy with Bergmanesque characterisation... thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable.” - Central Europe Review
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