A still from the movie ‘1945’ showing the two Jewish protagonists at a railway station in rural Hungary.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF FERENC TÖRÖK)
ON A hot summer day in August 1945, a steam locomotive pulls into a small country station. Off the train step a couple of pensively taciturn men dressed in black coats: a bearded patriarch in a black fedora and a younger man in a flat cap. They’re bringing two wooden crates, whose contents are unknown and which they handle with fastidious care. The men begin to make their way on dusty roads toward a nearby no-name village, walking wordlessly behind a horse-drawn wagon they’ve hired to transport their crates.Cut to scenes in the village where locals are getting ready for a wedding. They’re as yet unaware of the strangers whose arrival will shortly cause sparks to fly. This is a classic Western setup with the time-honored trope of silent strangers, their purpose unknown, coming to town. Shot in black and white, the film has an extra period feel à la “Stagecoach” and “High Noon.”