Explanation for Everything - Engels ondertiteld

Stinging Hungarian social satire in which a lazy high school student becomes a hero of the far right. When Abel fails his final history exam, it results in a tabloid-fuelled culture war.

Time & Tickets

The fail grade is given to Abel by teacher Jakab, mainly because he freezes in front of the class and cannot utter a word. In order to still get him to talk, Jakab points to the pin Abel wears, a symbol of Hungarian nationalism. When Abel later tells his conservative and frustrated father Gyorgy about this, it further strains the relationship with the liberal teacher Jakab. This is an already troubled one, because Abel is in love with Janka, who in turn is in love with the teacher. The situation spins totally out of control when young journalist Erika gets wind of all this. In her right-wing tabloid, she carries the story that Abel has received a failing grade because of his nationalist pin. Thus, the average and rather sulky student becomes the centre of a media storm.

The film was shot in twenty days, on a minimal budget and without any government support. It is impressive how director Reisz nevertheless managed to paint a nuanced and incisive portrait of the situation in his country. And at the same time, perhaps, of the pervasive left-right divisions around the world. (jc)

Gábor Reisz, Hungary, Slovak Republic, 2023, 127 min. Hungarian spoken, English subtitles. With Adonyi-Walsh Gáspár, István Znamenák, András Rusznák, Rebeka Hatházi.