This is an adaptation of Agota Kristof’s best-selling novel The notebook (in French Le grand cahier). During the Second World War, in order to keep them safe, twin brothers (listed in the end credits as ‘One’ and ‘Other’) are sent by their parents, to live with their monstrous grandmother on her farmhouse. The only thing their parents left them is a notebook (it looks more like a scrapbook to me), so that they can write their thoughts and experiences. ‘The witch’ – as she is known in the village -force them to work from morning until night, as well as beating them. To get tougher and get used to the pain, they start beating each other. With war and death all around the boys, they kill bugs and other small animals and glue them in the notebook. In their debut, András and László Gyémánt are impressive. They are in every scene, and there is so much pain, horror and violent impulses in their chemistry, and in those eyes. Great performances. I Should also mention great work from veteran actress Piroska Molnár as the grandmother from hell, and cinematographer Christian Berger. I recommend.
The notebook (A nagy füzet)