CANCELED: The Witness
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Ferenc Kallai, Daniel Zoltan, Lajos Oze, Lilli Monori,
The bumbling protagonist of The Witness stumbles through a series of assignments at which he invariably fails, climaxing in the cultivation of the comically misnamed “Hungarian orange.” Yet at his court trial, he shows defiance against a regime defined by favoritism and betrayal. The film’s acerbic humor and principled criticism of the socialist system made it renowned in the Soviet bloc. The New York Times deemed it “as broadly entertaining as it is bold.” We screen the recently restored version shown at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, fifty years after its original screening there won the Ecumenical Jury Prize.