Poster for 1945 On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox man and his grown son return to a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful, and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back. Director Ferenc Török paints a complex picture of a society trying to come to terms with the recent horrors they’ve experienced, perpetrated, or just tolerated for personal gain. A superb ensemble cast, lustrous black and white cinematography, and historically detailed art direction contribute to an eloquent drama that reiterates Thomas Wolfe’s famed sentiment: you can’t go home again.

91 minutes
Ferenc Török

Shown at

  1. 15th Annual JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  2. 16th Annual Ruth and Bernard Friedman Windsor Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  3. 17th Annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  4. 20th Annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival (Detroit) - 2018
  5. 21st Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas - 2017
  6. 22nd Annual Hartford Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  7. 22nd Denver Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  8. 23rd Annual Jewish and Israeli Film Festival (Allentown) - 2018
  9. 25th Portland Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  10. 27th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  11. 28th Annual Orange County International Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  12. 5th Annual Palm Springs Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  13. 7th Annual Augusta Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  14. Altoona Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  15. Am Hayam Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  16. Atlanta Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  17. Austin Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  18. Austin Jewish Film Festival - 2020
  19. Baltimore Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  20. Barshop JCC Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  21. Beth Tzedec Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  22. Boston Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  23. Boulder Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  24. Bucharest Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  25. Budapesti Zsidó és Izraeli Filmfesztivál - 2017
  26. Carmel Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  27. Central Florida Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  28. Charlotte Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  29. Chicago Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  30. Cleveland Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  31. Columbus Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  32. Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  33. Corvallis Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  34. Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  35. East Bay International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  36. Edmonton Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  37. Falmouth Jewish Congregation Summer Jewish Film Series - 2017
  38. Gainesville Jewish Film Fest - 2018
  39. Geneva International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  40. Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  41. Harrisburg Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  42. Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  43. JCMI Film Festival - 2017
  44. Jewish Arts and Film Festival of Fairfield County - 2018
  45. Jewish Cinema Mississippi - 2018
  46. Jewish Film Festival (Chautauqua) - 2018
  47. JFilm Festival (Pittsburgh) - 2017
  48. Louisville Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  49. Maine Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  50. Miami Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  51. Michiana Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  52. Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  53. Mobile Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  54. Moscow Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  55. Nashville Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  56. Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  57. Randi & Bruce Pergament Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  58. Rehoboth Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  59. Riverside Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  60. Rochester Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  61. Rutgers Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  62. Sacramento Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  63. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  64. Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  65. Savannah Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  66. Schenectady Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  67. Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  68. Southampton Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  69. Southwest Michigan Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  70. Treasure Coast Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  71. Tucson International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  72. UK Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  73. Vancouver Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  74. Ventura County Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  75. Virginia Festival of Jewish Film - 2018
  76. Virginia Peninsula Jewish Film Festival - 2012
  77. Warsaw Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  78. Washington Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  79. Westchester Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  80. Wilmington Jewish Film Festival - 2018

17 Responses

  1. jewishfilmfests says:

    Win tickets to 1945

    The Australian Jewish News has 10 double passes to giveaway to the film. Competition entrants must specify which cinema they wish to see the film at.

    Competition entries close on 29 March at noon.


  2. jewishfilmfests says:

    Absorbing and finely wrought, “1945” is not perfect. It oversimplifies Istvan’s motivation for issuing an accusation against a friend. The modernist-style score by Tibor Szemzo is more distracting than atmospheric, especially when it riffs on Max Bruch’s widely used composition for Kol Nidre, a Yom Kippur prayer that seems inappropriate for this particular context. And by design, the movie is something of a tease, more interested in setup than in payoff. The guilt that eats at these characters resists easy closure or absolution.


  3. jewishfilmfests says:

    A fresh, intelligent cinematic approach to a difficult topic that takes on a transitional time in Hungarian history with subtlety and nuance.

  4. jewishfilmfests says:

    There is a train that leaves town at 3, and more travelers will be on it than the two who arrived at the film’s start. But there is no escaping the past, “1945” suggests, in a dark and uneasy Holocaust fable.


  5. jewishfilmfests says:

    Marvellously directed and acted, 1945 shows how those who practice deception for their own ends are likely to pay the price and in ways they may not foresee. Shot in black and white by Ferenc Török, the film was adapted from co-screenwriter Gabor T. Szanto’s short story The Homecoming.

  6. jewishfilmfests says:

    In Ferec Torok’s skilled drama, celebrations in a Hungarian hamlet are marred by spreading rumours of infidelity, drug addiction and betrayal


  7. jewishfilmfests says:

    As nationalist fervour and racism strengthens in modern-day Hungary, it is admirable that 1945 has been made at all. Tackling the topic of some Hungarians’ complicity in the Holocaust is to venture into dangerous waters, therefore it is a shame that the film’s overemphasis on aesthetics means that it may not reach a wider audience.


  8. jewishfilmfests says:

    The grasping nature of certain characters (the wedding is less about romance than a desired inheritance of a lucrative drugstore) results in the filmmakers unflinchingly identifying the cause of anti-Semitism as personal greed. 1945’s story could have been told at any point in the last 70 years; that it should feel so relevant in 2018 shames everyone who imagined that progress might have moved us away from such inhumanity.


  9. jewishfilmfests says:

    The ravishing cinematography by Elemér Ragályi balances the dark overtones of the story that gives the viewer the feeling that they are witnessing the coverup of a crime perpetrated by an entire village. The film’s straightforward but effective narrative holds few surprises while the talented cast strengthens the storytelling especially Péter Rudolf who makes a smooth transition from comedy to drama.


  10. jewishfilmfests says:

    1945 manages to work itself toward a darkly poetic finish, not with a gunfight at the train station but with the smoke of history refusing to vanish on the near horizon.

  11. jewishfilmfests says:

    Driven by the agitation and anxiety of the town’s populace, 1945 does, however, continue the exploration of an inexhaustible and inescapable subject: the human capacity for denial that threatens to devour historical truths that ultimately must be vomited up in painfully wrenching ways.

  12. jewishfilmfests says:

    A strong, simple story, with a dark insight into human nature, 1945 makes for powerful viewing.


  13. jewishfilmfests says:

    But “1945” takes a familiar subject and well-worn theme — collective guilt — and finds a new way to bring us into that story, to connect us to that crime and its aftermath. Here’s a clever, sideways take on the grimmest of human horrors, a clever parable that delivers the same heavy message, but with mordant wit and originality.


  14. jewishfilmfests says:

    Hungary and Hungarian life is rife with “unprocessed trauma,” not least its fast, mind-numbing switcheroo from fascism to communism. The tragic fate of Hungarian Jewry in WW II is more horrendously riveting in the 2016 Oscar-winning Holocaust drama “Son of Saul.” But “1945” is a sociocultural, not political, examination of the sad subject.


  15. jewishfilmfests says:

    1945 is based on the short story Homecoming by Gábor T. Szántó, and is a bit slight to fill 90 minutes of screen time; a subplot concerning István’s fiancée’s infidelities feels like an unnecessary complication. But the film is nonetheless a trenchant examination of what happens in the wake of genocide, to survivors, witnesses, the participants and those who merely stood and watched.


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