Clouds Over the Ganges

Director: Gabor Dettre

2002. English subtitles. Colour. 149 mins.

A prize-winner at last year’s Locarno Film Festival, director Gabor Dettre ‘s powerful tale of suffering and devotion is about a drug addict going cold turkey and the woman who tries to help him. Andras (Zoltan Ternyak), who has no money to feed his heroin addiction, meets Juli (Ildiko Toth)on a Budapest street. She has just left her wealthy, oafish husband and her young daughter. Impulsively she agrees to help Andras kick his habit as long as there’s no sex or emotional attachment. She moves into his dilapidated apartment and nurses him through the horrors of his craving (scenes that make similar depictions in other films about addiction look tame by comparison) and eventually, inevitably, they fall in love. This is a harrowing film, but not one devoid of hope, and it ‘s carried by truly astonishing performances by the two leads.

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