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Brigitta (1993)
  • Director:
    Dagmar Knöpfel
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Adalbert Stifter
  • Cast:
    Carl Achleitner,Tamás Jordán,Éva Igó
  • Time:
    1h 18min
  • Year:
Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Achleitner Carl Achleitner - Florian
Tamás Jordán Tamás Jordán - Major
Éva Igó Éva Igó - Brigitta
Klaus Händl Klaus Händl - Gustav
Zoltán Gera Zoltán Gera - Gömör
Róbert Koltai Róbert Koltai - Arzt
Dózsa Sándorné Dózsa Sándorné - Wirtin
Dodó József Töth Dodó József Töth - Pferdekutscher
Miklós Kurucz Miklós Kurucz - Wegerklärer
Árpadné Báthori Árpadné Báthori - Wegerklärererin
Lajos Wohner Lajos Wohner - Mihály
Nándor Wampetich Nándor Wampetich - Diener
Janós Hosnyánszki Janós Hosnyánszki - Pferdeknecht
Tibór Thüringer Tibór Thüringer - Zitherspieler
János Papp János Papp - Gärtner

Brigitta (1993)
This beautiful film is a magnificent antidote to the action-filled films overwhelmed by special effects to which we have all become accustomed. Knöpfel's sensitivity to the original text by 19th-century Austrian author Adalbert Stifter makes her film a valuable visual rendering of the novella. The exotic beauty of the Hungarian puszta, while beautifully described in Stifter's text, is hard to visualize for readers who have never experienced its unique landscape directly. This is a key contribution of the film, for Knöpfel succeeds in underscoring the multi-faceted traditional feeling of Eastern Hungary. The extras often speak in Hungarian, even in dialect, another feature Stifter is unable to realize in his original work. When the narrator is thus immersed in all of the sights and sounds of the Hungarian countryside he will soon adopt for awhile as his own, a level of appreciation for his experience is achieved that complements the novella in an important manner.

The choice of the actress for the role of Brigitta is intriguing, how many actresses want to identify themselves as lacking in external beauty? I can imagine having chosen an actress with even plainer features. But the quality of the performances all the way around is outstanding. The black and white filmography is also an intriguing choice, and works well in terms of arousing a sense of historical culture within the viewer.

This film has a refreshingly slow and contemplative pace that makes it meditative and inspiring in a manner not achieved by the fast-paced films that dominate the market today. In this sense this film can be recommended to anyone who seeks an opportunity to search inwardly as the narrative unfolds. The music complements the story successfully, the entire feel of Brigitta is dominated by beauty, sensitivity, and introspection. It's wonderful to see the work of a female director so deeply and sensitively informed about literature and culture in Central Europe. I look forward to getting to know Knöpfel's work better.