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Critic's Choice: Hungarian drama '1945' gets an encore

Critic's Choice: Hungarian drama '1945' gets an encore
Iván Angelusz, left, and Marcell Nagy in the movie "1945." (Szilagyi Lenke / Menemsha Films)

The premise is simple but compelling: Two strangers get off a train in a small town and nothing is ever the same again. It could be the setup for a classic western, but the town is in rural Hungary, the two men are Orthodox Jews, and the year, as the title indicates, is “1945.”

Photographed in luminous black and white and returning to theaters by popular demand, this 2017 Hungarian film is a quietly ferocious piece of work that puts a particular time and place under a microscope, revealing hidden fault lines and differences that have been ineffectually papered over. Simple, powerful, made with conviction and skill, it is set in a world that is gone, the better to deal with issues and difficulties that are not even close to being past.

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Starts Aug. 3 at Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills: Town Center 5, Encino; Edwards Westpark 8, Irvine; and Palm Desert 10.

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