Late Season

The day I received this post, I watched Zoltan Fabri's film "Late Season". Made in 1964, the film deals with the story of six friends in Hungary against the background of the arrest, trial and punishment of Eichmann in Israel.

One of them, Kerekes, a retired assistant in a pharmacy, is summoned by his own friends in jest to report to the police station next day. Joke turns into tradegy as Kerekes is aware of a crime committed twenty years ago, considers himself guilty and demands justice. Kerekes has worked as assistant in the pharmacy owned by Szilagys during the war years. Szilagys are in reality Silbermanns, Jews who have managed to conceal their identity. On a query by a police official [ who as a customer for the pharmacy is Kerekes' friend] if town has been cleared of Jews, Kerekes says,' Yes, UNLESS Szilagys are Jews.' Szilagys are immediately arrested and are never seen again.

Kerekes' surprised friends are trapped by their own trick. Kerekes is tormented by nightmares and reports to the prosecutor's office, where his confession is not taken seriously. etc. etc.

The questions about the truth, violence, complicity and guilt are dealt with by this film with sensitivity, to depict a situation in which one single word, viz. UNLESS, torments the speaker for rest of his life.

Ulhas Joglekar