Adoption | Adoption

Berlinale Classics

Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros, won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 1975, the first time a female director was so honored.
Her social drama follows Kata, a 40-something factory worker who decides to adopt a baby from a home for neglected children.
“I am especially pleased to be presenting;Adoption, the magnum opus of one of Europe’s greatest female directors, in immaculate picture and sound quality,” said Rainer Rother, head of the Berlin’s Retrospective section, which organizes the Berlinale Classics.
“Marta Meszaros was a pioneer of auteur films, and her work inspired not least of all many of the German women filmmakers whom we are honoring in this year’s Retrospective.”

Kata works in a factory. A widow who is turning 43, she’s been having an affair with a married colleague for some time. Kata wants to have a child, but her lover, who already has two children, won’t hear of it. Then Kata meets 17-year-old Anna, who lives in a reformatory, and takes the young woman under her wing. She allows Anna to stay in her apartment so the younger woman can spend time with her boyfriend; the two women have long discussions, and the older woman stands up for Anna with the director of the home. Kata begins to uncouple emotionally from her lover. She goes to see Anna’s parents and urges them to allow Anna to fulfil her dream of marrying the boyfriend … In still images and long takes, Márta Mészáros tells the story of a lovely friendship between a lonely woman and her “trial run daughter”. The camera explores the bodies of the two protagonists with a tenderness equal to the sensitivity with which the film reveals their inner damage and their yearning for human warmth in a cold world. With Örökbefogadás in 1975, Márta Mészáros became the first female director to win a Golden Bear at the Berlinale.

Director Márta Mészáros
Screenplay Márta Mészáros, Ferenc Grunwalsky, Gyula Hernádi
Cinematography Lajos Koltai, Márta Mészáros
Editing Éva Kármentő
Music György Kovács
Sound István Wolf
Art Director Tamás Banovich
Costumes Zsuzsa Vicze
Producer Miklós Köllő

With Katalin Berek, Gyöngyvér Vigh, Péter Fried, László Szabó, István Szőke
Hungary 1975
Hungarian, Subtitles: English, 87.min
Black/White, 4K DCP
World premiere of the digitally restored version in 4K DCP

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