Hungarian soldiers in World War II patrol the icy forests of Ukraine in Denes Nagy's feature debut. Hungary's most recent contribution to the implacable flow of war films pouring out of Eastern Europe is a far cry from the Russian tank operas and spectacular disaster films like Battle of Leningrad . Denes Nagy's sensitive first feature Natural Light ( Termeszetes feny ), bowing in Berlin competition, is the opposite of these: a slow starter high on atmosphere but low on action, whose horrific main event takes place discreetly off-screen. The story salutes Elem Klimov's 1985 anti-war masterpiece Come and See (reissued in the U.S. last year in a 2K restoration) and its stark, unflinching gaze at the Nazi invasion of Byelorussian villages. Nagy's story, set in Ukraine, poses the moral question of how far a person of conscience is obliged to go to decry the wrong he has witnessed, and how much responsibility he bears if he remains silent. Since the hero is a Hungarian soldier allied with Nazi Germany, it is a true dilemma. But one wonders how many viewers will have the patience to wait for the moral climax. The long-winded set-up is heavy on muddy clothes, dirty… Read full this story
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