The 1956 Hungarian uprising seperates the family forever. The husband has a clandestine escape
route prepared via Red Cross to Vienna. His wife, however, is determined to stay in Budapest with their two kids. Though the film’s opening is fraught with significance, shot in semi-documentary sepia tone and underlined with momentous music, nothing really comes out of it. The father disappears, not much is heard from him again, and the kids, once grown-ups, turn his revolutionary fervor into a generalized adoration for “America,” by which they mostly refer to rock ‘n’ roll.
The movie follows the mother and her two sons for roughly a decade. Slightly better times come for Hungary. Enormous emphasis is placed on success. On getting the right grades and making the right acquaintances in order to enter medical or legal school. Because of their father’s reputation, the two sons fall victims of discrimination. There are several nice scenes. One involves the attempts of a newly appointed female teacher to win the attention of an unruly class. Another is the awkward and at the same time sweet rock ‘n’ roll party where smuggled Western goods and music, like Coke and Elvis, make their appearance. The film ends with the three drunk and dreamy young people stealing a car and ridicously attempting to crash the border into Austria.