A story of a friendship between two women of different classes and of their respective marriages. For twenty years, Mari has been living in a seemingly happy, harmonious marriage, and has been appointed director of a hostel for woman workers in the country. She gives shelter to the younger woman – her marriage with an alcoholic husband is an obvious mess. Mari, under the impact of her incipient friendship with Juli, is just beginning to realize that her domestic bliss of twenty years was in fact merely a formal, conventional pretence, a sham, a cloak under which she gave up her individuality.
Beside her two main actors, Lili Monori and Jan Nowicki, Márta Mészáros invited great international actors to this semidocumentary-like feature production; this is the only common film of the legendary Russian singer-actor Vladimir Vysotsky and his French love Marina Vlady. At the same time, the director discovered eight-year-old Zsuzsa Czinkóczi, from the rural farm near Kecskemét whom she cast in the role of Zsuzsi, Juli’s daughter.
«Their collaboration recalls that between Truffaut and Jean Pierre Léaud, his younger alter-ego in the semi-autobiographical “Antoine Doinel” cycle, a challenging cinematic experience for both director and actor.»
(Catherine Portuges, Screen Memories: The Hungarian Cinema of Márta Mészáros, Indiana University Press. 55.)