The Red and the White


also known as: Csillagosok, katonák

directed by Miklós Jancsó, 90 minutes

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"...a very poignant and powerful film. And one of the strongest condemnations of war I've seen." - Matt Johnson, 'Paradoxical Phase' (University of Texas)

Banned for many years in the U.S.S.R., Hungarian director Miklos Jancso's masterful THE RED AND THE WHITE is a haunting, powerful film about the absurdity and evil of war. Set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918, the story details the murderous entanglements between Russia's Red soldiers and the counter-revolutionary Whites in the hills along the Volga. The epic conflict moves with skillful speed from a deserted monastery to a riverbank hospital to a final, unforgettable hillside massacre. The director of numerous Hungarian cinema classics, Jancso here creates what many believe to be his finest work. THE RED AND THE WHITE is a moving visual feast where every inch of the Cinemascope frame is used to magnificent effect. With his brilliant use of exceptionally long takes, vast and unchanging landscapes and Tamas Somlo's hypnotic black and white photography, Jancso gives the film the quality of a surreal nightmare. In the director's uncompromising world, people lose all sense of identity and become hopeless pawns in the ultimate game of chance.

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1 member found this review helpful Created over 4 years ago.

You've read all the screenwriting books. Attended the writer's workshops. You've got that great, perfectly-formatted script for your Sundance debut film. However, you haven't seen "The Red and the White," yet.

The Red and the White is by far one of the most remarkable films coming out of Hungary's late Sixties. The cinematography is excellent, the story is tight and should be seen as a treat for any expert or novice of filmmaking.


1 member found this review helpful Created 7 months ago.

Great black and white cinematography. War was much slower and less gruesome on horseback. Not the best if you are anti-violence and anti-gun. More bullets than actors in this one.

Created 11 months ago. Updated 11 months ago.

This film is "balletic"--- there is a lot of choreographic use of wheeling horses and marching men --- but it is a ballet of death, in which ruthless "Whites" toy with and then butcher their Red opponents. In short, very unpleasant stuff, but also authentic in capturing the Russian Civil War's brutality.There are no real individuals in this film; only highly stylized groups of victims and sadistic victimizers, whose whimsically cruel ethos gives the film an unrelenting tension.

Created 4 months ago.

An interesting film. Shows the absurdity and madness of war.

Created about 2 years ago.

Some amazing camera work - long take shots with wonderful camera/subject choreography. Strange, somewhat haunting, a little too much of people being forced into lines and moved to and fro, but regardless of that, a very very good film.

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