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Overview: Six Weeks – Cineuropa


– Noémi Veronika Szakonyi’s feature-length fiction debut is a nuanced and judgement-free portrait of a younger lady placing her baby up for adoption

Katalin Román in Six Weeks

Is there such a factor with no consideration determination in terms of having youngsters or not? What number of obstacles and discomforts are too many? When the longer term is at all times roughly unsure, is there ever a proper time to start out a household? And is there such a factor as an ideal mom? Six Weeks, the primary feature-length fiction movie by Hungarian director Noémi Veronika Szakonyi, by no means explicitly spells out these questions. However these are the tense waters that its usually silent protagonist should navigate when she provides start to an undesirable baby and places her up for adoption: by legislation, in Hungary, the organic mom has six weeks from the day of the start to vary her thoughts and get her baby again, if she so needs.

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Premiering within the Characteristic Competitors at this 12 months’s Sarajevo Movie Pageant, Six Weeks avoids straightforward didacticism in favour of an aesthetic in tune with the feelings and ideas of a younger woman who’s each mature for her age by way of the variety of duties she carries round day by day, and nonetheless youthful in her ardour and stubbornness. Repeatedly let down by her personal single mom, Zsófi (Katalin Román) finds herself caring for family duties and of her little sister Mesi (Lana Szczaurski) greater than a lady her age actually ought to. She has the no-bullshit sensibility of an athlete who is aware of what it takes to win, and is certainly devoted to her after-school table-tennis observe, decided to make it to the European Cup after which to the Olympics. Extremely bold, she doesn’t endure fools gladly, and the movie begins along with her firmly sticking to her determination to not elevate a toddler in situations she believes to be lower than optimum. We quickly study that the being pregnant was an accident, the daddy a loser whom Zsófi by no means cared about, and that the entire affair is, for the younger lady, principally an annoying delay to her plans.

It’s a refreshingly fashionable and unsentimental perspective that places the mom’s rights first, and one that’s instantly threatened from all sides. Probably the most vocal opponent of Zsófi’s determination is her personal mom, who coos on the unborn baby inside her daughter’s stomach within the opening scenes and later bursts into tears at any time when she is reminded of the approaching adoption. But when something, this emotional response from a dad or mum who has regularly upset her solely strengthens Zsófi’s resolve to not comply with in these footsteps – which quickly reveals a extra painful irony: it is rather doable that Zsófi, compelled to deal with herself from a younger age, would in truth make an exquisite mom. It’s this realisation, alongside the painful bodily adjustments of a postpartum physique designed to feed a toddler and never, crucially, to face up to intense table-tennis coaching, that places a pressure on Zsófi’s resolve.

Following, because it does, a younger lady in limbo and with nobody to assist or information her in making a call that might drastically change the course of her life, Six Weeks is an usually irritating and gruelling movie, and Zoltán Dévényi’s sun-drenched cinematography helps significantly soften the expertise. Filled with pastel colors and rays of sunshine, the aesthetic additionally places a delicate emphasis on Zsófi’s youth, at the same time as she faces grown-up issues, and permits Román to emerge as a stable younger expertise who can maintain her personal in a troublesome position. The movie in any other case takes a comparatively commonplace, realist formal method in sync with a storyline that, eager to keep away from being apparent or overdetermined in any manner, is finally with out many surprises. This steadfast dedication to nuance and gray areas often makes the movie appear one-note, which in flip makes it troublesome for it to keep up our curiosity in what unfolds, but it surely finally proves to be the film’s blessing: when Zsófi makes her closing determination, her causes can’t be lowered to mere logistical issues, nor to the presence or absence of maternal emotions; her selection is hers and hers alone, and she or he doesn’t must justify herself to anyone.

Six Weeks was produced by Hungary’s Sparks.

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