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Film / The Revolt of Job

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The Revolt of Job (Jób lázadása) is a 1983 film from Hungary directed by Imre Gyöngyössy and Barna Kabay.

The story opens in 1943. Job and Rosa are two Jews in late middle age living in a small village. Having had seven children only for all of them to die young, Job and Rosa have decided to adopt. They go to an orphanage and, in the first scene, adopt Lacko, a little Christian boy. Lacko violently resists being taken away from the orphanage but soon enough bonds with his adoptive parents.

Their happy little home is destroyed barely a year later when the Nazis occupy Hungary, and the genocide of Hungarian Jews, the last phase of the Holocaust, begins.


  • As You Know: The man at the orphanage tells Job that he'll have to back date the adoption papers "five years, to 1938" due to laws against Jews adopting Christian children. This lets the audience know that the date is 1943.
  • Cock-a-Doodle Dawn: Roosters are heard crowing with the morning a few times, which is natural since the film is set Down on the Farm. In one scene a crowing rooster moves Job to sing a Yiddish wedding song: "The cock is crowing, soon it will be dawn."
  • Day of the Jackboot: Fascism finally comes for the Jews of Hungary. It's gradual throughout the film. Some Arrow Cross fascists at the marketplace sing an anti-Semitic song; some more fascists interrupt a movie. Then towards the end it becomes clear what will happen as Job and Rosa make comments about how their time is running out.
  • Death of a Child: Job and Rosa had seven children and buried all of them.
  • Downer Ending: The movie ends with Lacko's parents being carted away, to what will be their deaths in the Holocaust. They even have to pretend they don't know him as he tries to climb into their cart.
  • Down on the Farm: Job has a small farm and sheep ranch in a rural Hungarian village. (While a good chunk of Hungary's urban Jews survived to liberation, their rural Jews were wiped out.)
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Lacko's face is framed this way as he looks from an outside window, to Job conducting a Sabbath prayer inside the house.
  • Freeze-Frame Ending: Ends on a freeze-frame of Lacko as he chases after the wagons carrying his parents, and all the other Jews of the village, away.
  • Final Solution: The genocide of the Jews of Hungary. Hungary's Jews survived to that late date because Hungary's government resisted handing them over, until the Germans occupied the country in the spring of 1944.note 
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Lacko, a cute little towheaded boy who bonds with his adoptive parents. He hero-worships Job so much that he puts on a yarmulke and does a gibberish imitation of Job's prayers.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Job says a prayer in Yiddish, praying that Lacko will be OK after they leave, with Lacko the gentile standing right next to him unawares.
  • Politically Correct History: In the film the Christians of the village get along great with their Jewish neighbors, and anti-Semitism is a wholly outside force brought by the Germans and the Arrow Cross. The town band plays a mournful dirge as the Jews are taken away, and the town priest screams at the Arrow Guard officer that God will punish him. In reality, while this isn't completely impossible, there was plenty of anti-Semitism in the small towns and villages of Eastern Europe.
  • Primal Scene: Lacko sees Job's farmhand Jani having sex with Ilka, a neighbor girl. He's seen barnyard animals go at it, but he still gets worried ("He'll smother that girl!"), and douses the two of them to a bucket of water. An enraged Jani chases him around the courtyard for a while.
  • The X of Y: The Revolt of Job
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Job and Rosa are very aware of this towards the end. Rosa tells Lacko to bury their valuable gold watch, and in another scene hopes that they'll be able to see him go to school. (They aren't.)