The Annunciation 1984
The Annunciation 1984
Angyali üdvözlet (original title)
1h 40min | Drama | 27 April 1990 (Denmark)
Angyali üdvözlet, aka “The Annunciation”, is a surreal account of the history of humanity as portrayed entirely by children between the ages of 8 and 12. The film begins with the biblical story as Adam (Péter Bocsor) and Eve (Júlia Mérö), are deceived by Lucifer (Eszter Gyalog) — three very photogenic leads — into tasting the “Forbidden Fruit”. They are thus chased out of the Garden of Eden by the Angel of Death and, in a vision, sent on an existential journey through western European history.
Always followed closely and influenced by the deceptively sweet, but contemptuous Lucifer, we follow Adam through The Plague, wars, Byzantium’s wretched cripples, the French Revolution, the squalor of Dickensian London, and a final return to the scene of the crucifixion. Of course the picture makes a case for its premise — that of the consequences of Original Sin — yet does so in a very unique way. In the closing scene, Lucifer says, “Why did I strive to achieve greatness in man, who is…in knowlege a pygmy, in blindness a giant?” This reflects the somewhat nihilistic view of a nation still under the boot of Soviet communism.
This rare movie may be one of the best (and only child-starred) art films ever.
I am afraid that nobody will understand this movie unless he or she doesn’t know one of the greatest Hungarian dramatic play of the XIXth century: The Tragedy of Man, written by Imre Madách. The plot: after the loss of the garden of Eden, Lucifer, the demon of Denial shows to Adam and Eve the different ages of mankind, to prove them that there is no reason for them to live. In their dream they live for a while in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, in medieval Byzantium, in the revolutionary Paris, etc. This is a romantic and pessimistic vision — with a strange, optimistic ending. The director of this movie had a great idea: he has chosen not grown up actors and actresses, but little boys and girls, so the plot is even more complex, more poetic and more visionary. A beautiful movie to watch — but if you don’t know the drama of Madách, perhaps you won’t understand everything. Anyway, it is worth the time!
Director: András Jeles
Writers: András Jeles, Imre Madách (play)
Stars: Péter Bocsor, Júlia Mérö, Eszter Gyalog