Director: Márta Mészáros Run Time: 105 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 1980 Language: Hungarian
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Jan Nowicki, Lili Monori
The brilliance of a young Isabelle Huppert lends quiet intensity to this piercing period elegy. Budapest, 1936: Szilvia (Monori), a wealthy heiress to an enormous family fortune, befriends Irén (Huppert), a young shopgirl of modest means. Unable to give birth, Szilvia offers Irén money in exchange for conceiving a child with her husband (Nowicki) on her behalf—a transaction that blurs the boundaries of the two women’s social roles and leads all involved into an explosive moral, emotional, and romantic minefield. Set amidst the glimmering decadence of a pre-war Europe being consumed by the encroaching rot of Nazism, THE HEIRESSES is a coolly harrowing dissection of class and the cost of motherhood and a haunting vision of lives on a collision course with history. – Janus Films
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