The Hungarian Maria's Day is set in that most fateful of years, 1848. The incredible changes and reverses in European politics and culture exert a potent influence on one aristocratic Hungarian family. Losing virtually...展开everything in the way of creature comforts, the family tries to keep up appearances. Eventually every member of the clan falls victim to illness, syphilis and their own headstrong foolishness. The parallels drawn by director Judith Elek between the dissipation of 19th century Hungarian aristocracy and the corruption of Communist ideology in modern times are inescapable.
The work of filmmmaker Judit Elek is highly regarded in French-speaking countries. It is so esteemed that in 1987, Elek was awarded the coveted Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des Lettres by the French government. Her illustrious career began when she entered the Academy of Theater and Film Arts as the only female. She graduated in 1955 with other Hungarian directors such as Istvan Szabo. She and her classmates were dubbed Hungary's 'first generation' directors in 1961 and the Bela Balazs studio was founded just for them. Her best-known films, Istenmezejen 1972-73 and Egyszeru tortenet, are two docudramas about two young women attempting to escape the constraints of traditional attitudes within a Hungarian village. Elek spent four years in the village while making the films.