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TIFF Capsule Review: 'Just the Wind'

Indiewire By Boyd van Hoeij | Indiewire September 14, 2012 at 9:1AM

After making the creepy sci-fi love story “Womb” with Eva Green in English, Hungarian director Benedek “Bence” Fliegauf returns to his home country and a much more realistic register with “Just the Wind.” Inspired by true events that occurred a couple of years ago, the film looks at the last day of a Romany family — composed of a mother (Katalin Toldi), her adolescent daughter (Gyongyi Lendvai) and her younger brother (Lajos Sarkany) — in a country where casual racism and verbal hatred of the Gypsy community have become such an accepted part of life that no one, not even the police and, to an extent, the Romany themselves, think it particularly strange or alarming. This allows for the tension to turn occasionally into horrific violence, foretold here in an onscreen text before the film starts that ensures that audiences will look at the seemingly quotidian events with different eyes but also robs the sickening finale of any kind of suspense. With natural, handheld camerawork that generally follows the protagonists closely but occasionally wanders to include peripheral characters that provide a better understanding of the society in which the marginalized Romany live, and with striking if not unnatural use of sound (a recurring feature of Fliegauf’s work), “Wind” offers a harrowing look at an oft-ignored reality of Mitteleuropa and the Balkans. Criticwire grade: B [Boyd van Hoeij]
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After making the creepy sci-fi love story “Womb” with Eva Green in English, Hungarian director Benedek “Bence” Fliegauf returns to his home country and a much more realistic register with “Just the Wind.” Inspired by true events that occurred a couple of years ago, the film looks at the last day of a Romany family — composed of a mother (Katalin Toldi), her adolescent daughter (Gyongyi Lendvai) and her younger brother (Lajos Sarkany) — in a country where casual racism and verbal hatred of the Gypsy community have become such an accepted part of life that no one, not even the police and, to an extent, the Romany themselves, think it particularly strange or alarming. This allows for the tension to turn occasionally into horrific violence, foretold here in an onscreen text before the film starts that ensures that audiences will look at the seemingly quotidian events with different eyes but also robs the sickening finale of any kind of suspense. With natural, handheld camerawork that generally follows the protagonists closely but occasionally wanders to include peripheral characters that provide a better understanding of the society in which the marginalized Romany live, and with striking if not unnatural use of sound (a recurring feature of Fliegauf’s work), “Wind” offers a harrowing look at an oft-ignored reality of Mitteleuropa and the Balkans. Criticwire grade: B [Boyd van Hoeij]

This article is related to: Just the Wind (Csak a szél), Toronto International Film Festival, Reviews, Benedek Fliegauf