Hukkle | Chicago Reader


Gyorgy Palfi's oddball first feature (2002) combines the bucolic black humor of Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry and the pastoral lyricism of the classic French documentary Farrebique. A symphony of rural sights and sounds—including the hukkle, or hiccup, of the title—provides the oblique framework for the investigation of a series of mysterious deaths in a sleepy Hungarian village. While the enigmatic narrative hints at retribution for sins committed against nature and womankind, Palfi's unfettered, omniscient camera slices across walls, soars across the sky for bird's-eye views, and dives underground to discover an ill-fated mole waddling through its tunnel. Told almost entirely without words and composed largely of detail shots, this doesn't quite transcend the gimmickry of its concept, but it succeeds as a bravura technical exercise with some truly amazing images. In Hungarian with subtitles. 75 min.

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