Made when he was 22, Tarr’s striking debut feature has been likened to the work of John Cassavetes and Ken Loach for its warts-and-all snapshot of a seven-member family sharing a small apartment during a national housing crisis. The overcrowding puts particular pressure on the marriage of Laci, a soldier newly discharged from the army, and his wife Irén, who spends her days searching in vain for a home of their own—and an escape from Laci’s belligerent father. Impressively acted by a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors, Family Nest offers a pungent critique of patriarchy in all its forms, and early evidence of Tarr’s innate mastery of the moving image.

Image courtesy of Magyar Filmunió / Hungarian National Film Fund

  • Directed By Béla Tarr
  • 1979
  • Hungary
  • 35mm
  • 108 minutes