The Tragedy of Man

The Tragedy of Man

Available on iTunes
Cannes Palme D’Or winner and Oscar-nominated Hungarian legend of animation, Marcell Jankovics adapted the script of The Tragedy of Man in 1983 from Imre Madách’s play. The production of the film started in 1988 but only concluded at the end of 2011 after two and a half decades of struggle. The most acclaimed Hungarian play was written 150 years ago, it has been translated to 90 languages, being constantly compared to Goethe’s Faust or Dante’s Divina Comedia not only because of its theme but also due to its qualities. The play still lives its life in the European cultural sphere: it has been recently translated to Russian and Italian for the umpteenth time. The film follows the structure of the play: it consists of 15 acts that guide us through the past and the future of mankind. The narrative begins with the creation of the world, the first and the last acts frame the story that show us Adam and Eve travelling through space and time in search of the meaning of life – with the guidance of Lucifer himself. Jankovics drew all the acts in different style making us feel that we are watching a monumental encyclopaedia of animation. The first human couple travels from the Paradise through prehistoric times, the ancient Egypt, Hellas, Rome, the medieval Byzantine Empire, Kepler’s Prague, the French Revolution to the London of the XIX. century, then Jankovics rushes us through the last 150 years of Europe and we get an insight to the future. The film is a highly dramatised version of the play: while it keeps the philosophical profoundness of Madách’s book it also highlights visually its unique wit and makes Lucifer’s fight for the soul of the first man more compelling than ever.
Starring Péter Blaskó, Ferenc Borbiczky, Laszlo Csurka
Director Marcell Jankovics