AJFF: Gloomy Sunday
February 20, 20192:55pm
Historical events overtake erotic entanglements at a chic 1930s Budapest café, in GLOOMY SUNDAY, an intricate time-jumping love story wrapped in wartime intrigue. Told in flashback, the melodrama centers on the romantic yearnings of the café's Jewish owner (Joachim Król), his piano player (Stefano Dionisi), and flirty hostess Ilona (Erika Marozsán) whom both men desire. Their happy ménage à trois is threatened when Hans (Ben Becker), a regular customer and Nazi, pursues voluptuous Ilona. As the Holocaust engulfs Hungary, the lovers’ situation becomes perilous, their fates bound together by the melancholy melody "Gloomy Sunday" that casts a dark spell over listeners. A surprise hit with critics and audiences, this newly crowned classic of Jewish cinema is based on Nick Barkow's bestselling novel, and won the Bavarian Film Award for Best Direction and Cinematography, and a German Academy Award for Best Screenplay.