Memories of a River

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Memories of a River
Directed by Judit Elek
Produced by Gábor Hanák
Hubert Niogret
András Ozori
Written by Judit Elek
Péter Nádas
Music by Péter Eötvös
György ifj. Kurtág
Cinematography Gábor Halász
Edited by Katalin Kabdebo
Distributed by Quartet Films Inc. (USA)
Release date
8 February 1990 (Hungary)
March 20, 1992 (USA)
Running time
147 mins.
Country Hungary
Language Hungarian

Memories of a River (Hungarian: Tutajosok) is a 1990 Hungarian drama film directed by Judit Elek. It is a historical film set in 1882 and tells the story of the last trial in Hungary of a Jew for ritual murder.[1]


In the 19th century Austro-Hungarian Empire David Hersko, a Jewish shepherd, witnesses the attack of a young girl. His home is burned down and he finds shelter with the family of a Jewish logger. The loggers find the body of a young woman which they bury, going against local laws. They are charged with her murder and it is believed that they killed her as a ritual murder.[2]



For the purposes of the film 14 sheep were spread with flammable substance, and then to the order by Judit Elek were burned alive.[3] 69 scientists from the Jagiellonian University demanded from authorities of forbidding Judit Elek entry to Poland. Scientists wrote among others: "No director knowing her own worth would debase herself for using so primitive and cruel methods".


The film won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1989 Montréal World Film Festival.[4] In 1990 it won the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival.[5]


  1. ^ Chanes, Jerome A. (2004). Antisemitism: a reference handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 317. ISBN 1-57607-209-6. 
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (1992-03-20). "To Be a Jew In 1880's Hungary". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (1992-03-20). "Tutajosok: Review/Film; To Be a Jew In 1880's Hungary". NY Retrieved 2010-04-29. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Director: Judit Elek". San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. 1996. Retrieved 2009-09-26. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Best Screenplay Award from Cairo". Filmunió. 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2009-09-26. [dead link]

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