Submitted by Evan B

3 votes 2.3

Pooper: The Jewish men have come only to have a funeral for the former residents of the town who were killed in the Holocaust (the box contained goods of the deceased that they bury in lieu of the bodies). They depart without bothering any of the townspeople. Nonetheless, due to the townspeople’s own guilt or greed at having helped deport their Jewish neighbors, István’s son calls off his engagement and moves to Budapest, István’s general store is burned down, and Bondi dies by suicide.

Long Ending:
World War II has ended and, in Hungary, Soviets are starting to exert their influence. At a train station, two Jewish men (Angelus Iván and Marcell Nagy) get off a train along with a large box. The station master is taken aback by their arrival and hops on his bike to hurry to the local town. The Jewish men slowly walk the long trek from the station to the town.

The town is preparing to celebrate a wedding between Kisrózsi (Dóra Sztarenki) – whose previous fiance left her and is living on a commune with the Soviets – and Árpád (Bence Tasnádi) – the son of the Town Clerk named István (Péter Rudolf). Árpád and István live in a large house along with István’s depressed wife Anna and own a successful general store. István bullies the other townspeople and has a strained relationship with his family.

After the station manager informs the townspeople that two Jewish men are approaching, panic and discord breaks out. It is soon revealed that the townspeople turned their Jewish citizens in to the Nazis, with István as the architect of the plan. Once the Jews were deported to concentration camps, the townspeople moved into their houses and took their businesses. Indeed, István’s general store was formerly owned by his Jewish best friend. Most townspeople fear that the Jews have arrived in order to repossess the homes and property (assuming that the box they transport is full of goods for the general store). István states that they are owed their gains given that the Nazis, and now the Soviets, have subjugated them (and also argues that the Jews would ultimately have been found and deported by the Nazis anyways). He destroys paperwork that evidence the town’s schemes. A man named Bondi (József Szarvas) begins drinking heavily and announces his intent to come clean with the Jews. Árpád also expresses great regret for what happened and advocates for returning the stores and homes. Anna too expresses disgust at what István did to their former neighbors and friends and his continued opposition to returning the homes and property.

The Jewish men arrive and walk through the town without approaching anyone. They walk to the cemetery outside the now-abandoned synagogue, followed closely by the townspeople. There, as the town watches, they bury various items belonging to former residents of the town who perished in the Holocaust as the bodies were destroyed by the Nazis (these objects were what was what was in the box). When the ceremony is complete, István asks them why they are here. They respond that they only came to town to conduct the funeral and then begin their long trek back to the train station.

Although the Jews leave without another word, the town is torn apart. Unable to live with the guilt, Bondi kills himself. Árpád is so disgusted with his father and the town (having also discovered that Kisrózsi is having an affair with her former fiance), that he decides to call off the wedding and leaves that very day to move to Budapest. Kisrózsi (rejected again by her former fiance after she seeks him for comfort) sets the general store on fire. The townspeople (and Anna) watch it burn. István is left alone sifting through the ashes of his store. Meanwhile, the Jewish men board the train and leave the town.

01 hours 31 minutes