Memoirs Of A River

Hungarian filmmaker Judit Elek’s ambitious and serious, but also ponderous, long (147 minutes), and mainly slow-moving account of the last Jewish ritual murder trial in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which took place in 1882 after several Jewish raftsmen in the Carpathian Mountains were accused of murdering a girl. The film lingers over the beautiful settings, Jewish rituals, the torture of many Jews to extract false testimonies, and the subsequent trial, during which one 14-year-old boy accused his own rabbi father of participating in a ritual murder. Also known as The Raftsmen (1989). (JR)

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