DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Nine Month War

Nine Month War

János is in his early twenties when he is conscripted by the Ukrainian government. His family are part of the Hungarian minority in the country. Many flee to the EU to escape conscription, but János chooses military service. László Csuja follows him in the weeks before he sets out on the 1,500 km trip to the frontline, he is there when János returns to his family for the holidays and welcomes him home when his term of service has ended. He also uses material János himself recorded with a smartphone camera when he was a soldier – glimpses of life on the base.

It’s no coincidence that the nine months of the title evoke the duration of an average pregnancy – “Nine Month War” is the portrait of a development, perhaps not from embryo to baby but from boy to man, depending on one’s definition of man. János, the boy, seems equally strong and naive, is surrounded by the love of his fiancée and an ever-present mother. János, the man returned by the Ukrainian army after his service, is more inaccessible, sometimes rude. Resistance has formed against the main female protagonists in his life. János is preoccupied with himself, sitting around in semi-darkness and playing with his hands, looking after the soldiers who come to the kiosk where he works with an impenetrable expression.

Carolin Weidner

Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

Original Title: Kilenc hónap háború
Country: Hungary, Qatar
Year: 2018
Language: Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 73 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: László Csuja
Producer: Ágnes Horváth-Szabó, András Pires Muhi
Cinematographer: Zágon Nagy
Editor: Ágnes Mógor
Sound: Tamás Beke
Script: László Csuja

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.