Based on László Krasznahorkai's novel The Melancholy of Resistance, this is an uncanny fable about powerlessness and tyranny. Set in a small provincial town in Hungary at a moment of great crisis, the film tells of a mysterious circus that comes to town, complete with a giant stuffed whale carcass and rumors of an appearance by a prince known for his strange powers. Soon, the locals' emotions are stirred to a fever pitch as the strange state of affairs begins to disrupt the order of the small town, changing relationships irrevocably. The tension is brought to a head by the strange and disfigured Prince, a man whose very appearance is enough to send the town spiraling into destruction and disarray.
Based on László Krasznahorkai’s novel The Melancholy of Resistance, the film tells the story of a mysterious circus that arrives in a Hungarian village at a time of great crisis, promising to exhibit the world’s largest whale—and announcing the appearance of a prince with strange powers. Local emotions soon run high and life in this town changes forever.
In Turin on January 3, 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, the driver of a hansom cab is having trouble with a stubborn horse. Despite all his urging, the horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and whips it. Nietzsche comes up to the throng and puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse?s neck and sobbing. His landlord takes him home, where he lies motionless and silent for two days on a couch until he mutters his last words.
The film depicts, in close-up, a young couple in crisis, exploring the circumstances that ultimately lead to their break-up. Irén, her husband, and their daughter Krisztike, are squeezed into a suburban room-and-kitchen flat, which they have to share with four other family members as a result of the housing shortages faced by many Eastern European countries under communism. In this impossibly small space, even the tiniest problems result in scathing quarrels and the outcome for the family is inevitably bleak.
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