Strangled (A Martfui Rem)
Director: Arpad Sopsits
Cast: Karoly Hajduk, Peter Barnai, Zsolt Anger,
Genre: Crime Drama
Language: Hungarian with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Hungary 2016 120 mins. (18)
Released by Eureka Entertainment
Political corruption and the brutal killing of six women between 1957 and 1967 are juxtaposed in Arpad Sopsits award winning story of the Martfu murders. The brutal suppression of the Hungarian1956 uprising is fresh in the memory and the stench of political corruption an accepted norm.
Akos Reti (Gabor Jaszberenyi) patiently waits for his girlfriend outside of the show factory that dominates the small town of Martfu. Hopes of a reconciliation fail and when her body is found, Akos Reti, the spurned lover is arrested, interrogated, confesses and is sentenced to 25 years. Job done. Lead investigator Bota (Zsolt Anger) and the local District Attorney Katona (Zsolt Trill) are happy. Case closed, Akos Reti confessed, but Amos Reti is innocent. Move forward to 1964 and factory worker Bognar (Hajduk Karoly) attacks a number of women and sexually mutilates them. Szirmai (Petyer Barhai), a young prosecutor in Katona's office investigates but the communist party boss is quick to announce.'There are no serial killers in this country - is that clear?' Leave well alone Szirmai, if you want a future is the message. Reti's sister Rita (Scotia Szamosi) constantly pushes her brother's case but it falls on deaf ears, but Szirmai begins to dig and pushes to reopen Akos Reti's case.
With a sense of time and place, Arpad Sopsits effectively relates a dark, graphic and disturbing story based on real-life events, a series of brutal murders, necrophilia and state collusion which saw an innocent man condemned and a state prosecutor pursued for seeking justice.