Kinoeye: New perspectives on European film

Vol 2
 Issue 4 
18 Feb

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Diverse opinions
What the critics made of
Ibolya Fekete's Chico


The Hungarian press
...the audience [at Karlovy Vary] got the message, the jokes were in place, the audience laughed where it was supposed to, and was in deep silence during the tense scenes. Word about the success got around quickly, the film was showed twice with people sitting on the floor. When will Hungarian audiences have the chance to do the same?

Éva V Bálint, Magyar Hirlap, 19 July 2001

To sum it up: Chico, although a failure, is interesting and recommended viewing. Probably the saddest thing about it is that it is without any moral lessons. It is a failure of the film-making method, but the method itself cannot be blamed. The reason is rather that the director's vision is unfocused and too ambitious.

Sándor Turcsányi, Magyar Narancs

Moving. Eerie. Uplifting. One of the best Hungarian films of the last few years.

Gergely Bérczessy,

[If we look at it as an ordinary movie] then the situation is worse, because we didn't see anything else but a hardly watchable, indolent pseudo-documentary montage, and we have to find an excuse to watch it.


Ibolya Fekete's space and time "continuum" is an exciting work that makes us think, it is highly recommended for students preparing for their school leaving exams to make up for the missed history classes., 17 January 2002

The fact that war is not a good thing, we could see before. Therefore I don't feel anything extraordinary after Chico. I don't hate it, because there were interesting episodes in it, but I don't like it either, because there were disturbing parts as well. It doesn't result in catharsis, and stepping out of the cinema it leaves no lasting impressions. Just like a typical mediocre film.

Feri the projectionist, MoziNet, 17 January 2002

The international press
[Chico's] lack of any dramatic motivation beyond simple political commitment raises a more troubling issue: [Director] Fekete has wondered "what will happen to those (communists) who are restless, angry, radical in this brave new world." Yet there's a cumulative feeling of exploitation as Chico skips through these spots so recently awash with human suffering. [The picture] admirably fights against a perceived worldwide erosion of ideology, but making a movie in the midst of such a morally messy conflict will be problematic to some viewers.

Eddie Cockrell, Variety, 23 July 2001

The internationalism does threaten to get out of hand—the Hungarian scenes are certainly opaque—but it's an idiosyncratic and intrepid film that raises cogent questions of identity and belief.

Time Out (London), 14 November 2001

Karlovy Vary's festival daily, Premiere, tabulated the opinions of variety of critics in the form of one-to-five star ratings. Here's the selection for Chico:

Henri Behar
Michal Šobr
(Cinema, Prague)
Vincent Musetto
(New York Post)
Ron Holloway
(Moving Pictures)
Jerzy Płażewski
(Kino, Poland)

Enikő Csíkos

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