Miklos Jancso, a Hungarian filmmaker who used episodes from his nation’s history to create critically praised parables of war and oppression, died on Friday. He was 92.
„»This film isn’t just about 1956,« Mr. Jancso said in a 2003 interview for Kinoeye, an online magazine about European film. »The film is about the fact that there are people who want to be free and people who are oppressing them. The oppressors always use the same methods. In the places where there is no freedom — Turkey, Iran, China — it’s a very simple equation.«
His film »The Red and the White« (1967) depicts Hungarians fighting on the side of Russian Bolsheviks against the Czarists during the Russian Revolution in 1919. A. H. Weiler, a critic for The New York Times, called the film »stark and memorable proof of the callous bestiality of war and the towering talent of Miklos Jancso.«
And in »Red Psalm,« for which Mr. Jancso won the best director award at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, a 19th-century peasant revolt is presented with lush beauty, almost as a sensual ballet. (He did not shy from female nudity in his films.) The film was composed of only 26 shots, a fraction of the number used in an ordinary feature-length film.”