Archive of films An American Rhapsody / An American Rhapsody

USA / Hungary
2000, 106 min

Section: Out of Competition
Year: 2001


In the 1950s, Margaret Szándor made a risky escape from Communist persecution in Hungary with her husband and older daughter. She succeeded in emigrating to the United States but had to leave her younger daughter one behind with relatives. Years later, Margaret, who already feels fulfilled in her new home, uses Red Cross diplomatic channels to arrange for her daughter to come and live with her. On arrival, however, the girl finds it hard to adjust to her new though affluent home among ‘strangers.’ When her feelings of alienation don’t lessen even after years, her mother agrees to let her visit her beloved Hungary. But there, idealised childhood memories are confronted by reality and her first–hand knowledge of a free and democratic world. Only now with the help of her relatives does she come to understand the past drama which her mother had to go through. She begins to realise that it’s time to take advantage of her opportunities. When she returns to the United States she decides to accept what this new world offers her.

About the director

Eva Gardos grew up in the Hungarian countryside away from movies and television. Only at age eight did she get a chance, thanks to the Red Cross, to go and live in the West with the family who had been forced to escape there without her. She began in film as an editor on Valley Girl (1983) and she has worked on other, significant film projects including Mask (1985), Barfly (1987), Paradise (1991), and Tales from the Crypt (1989). She has worked with such directors as Hal Ashby, Francis Ford Coppola and Barbet Schroeder. The autobiographical drama An American Rhapsody (2000), on whose screenplay she worked for seven years, is her feature film debut as a director. She worked on the project with producer Colleen Camp, whom she met during the making of Apocalypse Now.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Out of Competition
Director: Eva Gardos
Screenplay: Eva Gardos
Dir. of Photography: Elemér Rágalyi
Music: Cliff Eidelman
Editor: Margaret Goodspeed
Producer: Jay Firestone, Adam Haight, Andrew G.Vajna
Production: Seven Arts Pictures
Cast: Nastassja Kinski, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Goldwyn, Kelly Endrész Bánlaki, Agi Bánfalvy, Zsuzsa Czinkóczi, Balász Galkó, Zoltán Seress

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