Directed by Márta Mészáros • 1987 • Hungary
Starring Czinkóczi Zsuzsa, Anna Polony, Jan Nowicki
Márta Mészáros’s follow-up to DIARY FOR MY CHILDREN picks up the story of teenage Juli (Zsuzsa Czinkóczi), the director’s alter ego, as she defies the wishes of her Stalinist aunt (Anna Polony) and leaves Hungary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a filmmaker in Moscow. There, Juli must navigate the bureaucratic propaganda machine that demands she conform to its ideas of “realism” while searching desperately for her missing father. Interweaving its heroine’s journey with the political upheavals of the postwar Eastern Bloc—from the death of Stalin to the short-lived promise of liberalization to the 1956 Hungarian Uprising—DIARY FOR MY LOVERS is a stirring depiction of a young woman finding her voice in a world intent on stifling it.