Hungary/Germany, 2008, 92 minutes
Sat, Apr 25 / 1:00 / Kabuki / DELT25K
Mon, Apr 27 / 6:45 / Kabuki / DELT27K
Shot in Romania’s breathtaking Danube delta, Kornél Mundruczó’s provocative film details the ramifications of a taboo relationship. The story involves a reticent young man (Félix Lajkó) who returns to his birthplace after a long absence and is startled to discover a sister he has never met and didn’t know he had. In an effort to protect her from their stepfather’s (Sándor Gáspár) abuse and ferocity, he brings the girl to live with him in his home by the sea. This gesture of goodwill does not bode well, as there are strong suggestions, advanced by gossip and innuendo, that the two are sexually entangled. Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó omits specific details about their bond, focusing more on naturalistic details and the behavior patterns of insular communities. When the outraged villagers, having drawn their own conclusions, force the pair into a state of complete alienation, the stage is prepared for a fated and tragic outcome. Adapting a minimalist approach, Mundruczó tells a highly charged story in a remarkably stripped-down way. Maintaining a steady and careful pace while employing very little dialogue, he is attuned to the serenity of the landscape, a sensibility that is expanded by Mátyás Erdély’s striking cinematography and Lajkó’s resonant violin score. Preoccupied with the natural world in its visual motifs (water, overgrown vegetation, and an intermittent turtle), Delta reveals a relationship that is perhaps all too unnatural.