The story unfolds in a small town in Hungary, in 1914. The Witman Boys, Janos, 14, and Erno, 12, are confronted with the death of their father. They find themselves alone with a young maid-servant and their mother Mrs Witman, a beautiful woman more concerned about her lover who's rapidly moved in, than her children. The boys, left to their own devices, conjure themselves up a strange and violent world.
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"I wanted to show a process that could possibly lead to matricide via absent or abnormal, strange or moving human relations, via the intertwining of reality with a pretty violent imaginary world. I wasn't interested in showing the violence of the Witman Boys' world at its crudest, its most brutal. Instead I sought a particular rhythm of colours tending towards black and white, so as to allow the viewer to have a certain visual freedom... that is, to contemplate, participate in, and "see from inside" what the images contain and suggest. In "The Witman Boys", as in my previous films, I am seeking "a particular way" of bringing such peculiar atmospheres to the screen; atmospheres which fascinate me, but to which I don't necessarily subscribe. For me, they are inklings of the murkiness of human history." (Janos Szasz)