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Tarr’s portrait of a young, working-class married couple brings us close to the raw emotions brought forth as the mysteries of love unravel. The chronicle of their love’s rise and fall is told in moving flashback, working back from the day that bearish Férj (Róbert Koltai) packs up and leaves his fed-up wife Feleség (Judit Pogány). Set in the “prefab” apartment blocks of government housing, Tarr’s story is at once a clear-eyed look at a relationship and a no-nonsense sketch of a place and time.

“Just as despairing as his later films (and also shot in richly textured black-and-white), Tarr's early works are more feet-on-the-ground and never indulge in metaphysics. . . Prefab People is the best of them, an unrelenting, smell-the-sour-breath portrait of a blue-collar marriage dissolving under pressure from Communist-era poverty, masculine inadequacy, and restless depression. As the imploding wife, theater vet (and recently, Hungarian politician) Judit Pogány is wrenchingly convincing.”
—Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

Image courtesy of Magyar Filmunió / Hungarian National Film Fund