DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Train to Adulthood

Train to Adulthood

The pioneer railway where children can be engine drivers or conductors, sell tickets or dispatch trains used to be the dream of every boy (and many girls) between Leipzig and Vladivostok. The Budapest twins Viktor and Karmen and their friend Gergő, too, operate old fashioned switches, levers and telephones, line up for the flag ceremony and sing the old hymn around the camp fire: “The pioneers’ land is full of happy tunes …” What could easily have been an exercise in sugary and phony nostalgia unfolds as a nuanced and sensitive coming of age drama – and not a happy one. Because the three of them, all on the threshold of adulthood, must shoulder responsibilities not only at the railway: they were confronted with the tough reality of capitalism at an early age. The twins’ single mother works hard but earns hardly enough to buy food, and the family are losing the roof over their heads. As for Gergő, he lives with his grandparents because his parents are forced to work abroad and he must decide whether this will be his future, too.

Klára Trencsényi shows a world in which a relic from the past is the only thing that offers security on the road to the future, while all the institutions that are supposed to do this are absent. The image of the rolling train as a symbol of longing acquires a different meaning – a bitter railway romanticism.

Grit Lemke

Golden Dove Next Masters Competition 2015

Original Title: Reményvasút
Country: Hungary
Year: 2015
Language: Hungarian
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 79 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Klára Trencsényi
Producer: Julianna Ugrin
Cinematographer: Márton Vízkelety, Klára Trencsényi
Editor: Judit Czakó
Music: Andor Sperling
Sound: Rudolf Várhegyi
Script: Klára Trencsényi

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.