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GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2014 - 18.27 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2014


Towards the end of World War II, big cities are at the mercy of air raids and starvation. A desperate mother leaves her 13-year-old twin sons in the country at their grandmother, a cruel alcoholic. The villagers call her the Witch, she is rumoured to have poisoned her husband. Soon the twins must survive alone. They realise that the only way to cope with the inhumane world of adults and war is to become unfeeling and merciless. By freeing themselves from hunger, pain and emotion, they will be able to endure future hardships. So they begin their own series of studies. They fortify their spirits by reading the Bible and learning foreign languages. They practice to harden their bodies and minds. They ignore insults and the insidious appeals of sentiment. The twins keep a written record of all they have witnessed during the war, the Notebook, following a strict code: the prose must be free from emotion, precise, objective. The end of war will bring the worst moments of all.

Category Official Competition
Section Generator +18
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 109'
Production Year 2012
Nationality Austria, France, Germany, Hungary
Directed by János Szász
Screenplay Andras Szekér, János Szász
Based on the book “Trilogia della città di K.”
by Ágota Kristóf
Director of photography Christian Berger
Editor Szilvia Ruszev
Production Design István Galambos
Costume Design János Breckl
Sound Manuel Laval
Music Johan Johanson
Main cast László Gyémánt (Egyik Iker, l’uno/Egyik Iker, One)
András Gyémánt (Masik Iker, l’altro/Masik Iker, Other)
Piroska Molnár (Nagyanya, la nonna/Nagyanya, Grandmother)
Ulrich Thomsen (Tiszt, l’ufficiale/Tiszt, Officer)
Ulrich Matthes (Apa, il padre/Apa, Father)
Gyöngyver Bognar (Anya, la madre/Anya, Mother)
Produced by Sandor Söth, Pál Sandor

János SzászJános Szász

Born 1958, Budapest. He studied drama and stage direction at the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest and spent four years at the National Theatre Budapest. He directed the feature films DON’T DISTURB (SZÉDÜLÉS, 1990); WOYZECK (1994), which won the 1994 European Film Award for Best New European Film; THE WITMAN BOYS (WITMAN FIÚK, 1997), which was screened in the “Un Certain Regard” section at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival; OPIUM - A MADWOMAN’S DIARY (ÓPIUM: EGY ELMEBETEG NÖ NAPLÓJA, 2007). WOYZECK and THE WITMAN BOYS were selected as Hungary’s entries at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 1995 and 1998.







Director’s statement

“THE NOTEBOOK is a war film with no war, a story about innocent but cruel children who resist all morals. It is the story of early adolescent, murderous twin boys. Two bodies, one spirit; two bodies, one will. They speak the same way and they finish each other’s sentences, always on the same wavelength. One boy thinks of something and the other carries it through. When they kill, it is an act of justice. Two bodies and one soul”.



Hunnia Filmstúdió Kft.
1145 Budapest, Róna u. 174 - Hungary
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