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Confidence (Bizalom) Issued On DVD
Manish Agarwal , June 28th, 2012 07:09

Oscar-nominated Hungarian gem makes home entertainment debut

Despite being one of four pictures by Hungarian auteur István Szabó to get a Best Foreign Language Film nod at the Academy Awards - he won with 1981's Mephisto - the quietly gripping Confidence (Bizalom) has remained obscure since it first appeared at the tail end of '70s, never receiving a video release anywhere in the world. That oversight is now corrected by a pristine digital restoration, supplemented with 20-minute director interview and extensive sleeve notes, courtesy of UK DVD imprint Second Run (read our earlier label profile).

Entwining personal drama and political thriller, the movie stars Ildikó Bánsági as a sympathetic young mother in Nazi-occupied Budapest, who has no choice but to separate from her resistance fighter husband in order to avoid detection by the Gestapo. She's given a new identity as the wife of an older, also married man, portrayed with bitter intensity by Péter Andorai. Szabó cuts between the perilous reality of his soulful protagonists' situation, panic-stricken internal monologues, and the occasional vivid reminder of their actual loved ones. The high stakes tension is accentuated by Lajos Koltai's claustrophobic cinematography, grey-misted daytime dread giving way to starkly lit small hours shadowplay and the reluctant couple's flame-hued bouts of passion.

A deft exploration of tyranny and loyalty, Confidence (Bizalom) is out this week; complete details can be found at the Second Run DVD website.