Index – Culture – Some kind of actress, the village hated her since she did that

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I went to the screening with a heavy heart, accepting a film about child abuse takes more courage than anything else, but I trusted the creators that they would not let me down as a viewer. In the end, this was the film’s greatest gift: just as the mother fighting for her children was not left alone, the characters of the film want to do the same to make it easier for others who find themselves in a similar situation.

In the first frames, we see an idyllic scene, a woman is picking cherries in the garden, the children, a teenage girl, Pirkó, and a little boy, Bogyó, are surrounded by pigs. Sometimes a cat appears, and every moment you feel the calmness, the intimate, warm love that binds these three people together. The mother is an actress, we see her try, the life of the small family goes on its ordinary way in the house, which is badly in need of renovation, in the garden, at school, at work.

A man in a cesspool

That’s when the mother, Andrea, gets the phone call that her ex-partner will be released from prison early due to his good behavior, instead of five years he only had to serve three years. The beautiful woman’s face shows fear and worry about what will happen if the man who sexually abused her adopted daughter when she was nine years old returns to the village. The man confessed to this, admitting in detail what he had done, which is why they were able to convict him at all.

At first Andrea doesn’t know what to do, she installs a camera, then comes to the decision that there is no other solution, she has to leave the village so that they don’t have to see the abuser every day. By the way, he is the father of the younger child, and he also sent Andrea a lawyer’s request that he wants to keep in touch with his son.

as if it wasn’t about a person convicted of pedophilia, but just a simple divorce.

The mother advertises the house, the interested people come, where there is some hope of escape, where it dissipates. In the meantime, the litigation is also going on, one cannot understand, among so many problems and difficulties, how there is even time and energy to live normally, to work, to raise children. And it is not hidden from the filmmakers’ camera when the mother breaks up with her children, but actually even this is good to see, since it is part of life, it indicates the tension, and it also shows how they are trying to master it all.

In particular, the fact that in the film we constantly hear the choir, the voice of the village, which clearly condemns Andrea for “putting the poor man in the sewer” who, by the way, belongs to the pastor’s family, while Andrea, isn’t she, is just an actress. “The village hated him for doing this,” we hear right from their first speech, when we don’t even know what happened, until the end, when the verdict is announced: if they are innocent, why are they moving? It must be because they are ashamed.

At first she didn’t believe her own daughter

The film was shot for five years. Püsök Botond was so integrated into the family that his presence was almost unnoticeable. This was already revealed in the conversation after the screening, where the director said: they used filming methods, for example, on the street, in the store or on the bus, so that it would not cause difficulties for the family, so we can see how Pirkó comes home from school and looks scared around, from where he gets hurtful words or bad looks.

By the way, the Andreas were only confronted with the sound of the village when the film was completed, until then they could “only” feel the hostile environment. One’s heart breaks when a teenage girl with a full heart walks down the street, and while she used to be loved, now she is being judged and whispered about behind her back for something that she did not commit. We hear the voices of the old women in the film that the man who helped pave the road with concrete, and the minister’s son, the other minister’s brother, could not do that,

but even if he did something, these overdeveloped girls of today misunderstand any affectionate approach.

The most touching thing in the film is the way Andrea relates to her children, although according to her own words she didn’t believe in her own daughter at first either, as she wanted to believe in some idyllic relationship, but luckily the love relationship between them is so close that she can pay attention to her daughter – who therefore she could tell him what had happened—so she finally believed him and stepped forward.

Oh, the same thing happened to his great-grandfather

This required a lot of courage, because at that time she was pregnant with her little son by the abuser, and there was no protocol available for where to go or what to do in such a case. It was also discussed in the conversation after the screening how all this became a film. Andrea’s friends helped a lot, and when Püsök told Botond what happened to them, he immediately felt that it should be made into a film.

And Andrea and Pirkó thought that if they helped a child and a family by telling their own story, it was already worth taking on the public. We don’t know which village it is, we are somewhere in Transylvania, in a minority environment – maybe that’s why the community closes even harder – but mother and daughter give their own faces, their own lives.

According to Andrea, since then she has heard many similar stories from her acquaintances, that oh, well, this happened to them too, with their dad, great-dad, neighbor, uncle, but there is such a thing. They wanted to put an end to this and take the first step to change something. According to the child protection experts present in the cinema, the latency is huge, but there is already a change, to which the film can also contribute.

A documentary co-produced by On the Spot, a Too close can already be seen on the RTL+ streaming platform.

(Cover image: RTL+)