Adoption, dir. Márta Mészáros, Hungary 1975, 87 min., Hungarian with English subtitles
Celebrated as the first Berlinale Golden Bear awarded to a female director, Márta Mészáros’ Adoption (1975) is a powerful meditation on agency and womanhood in a world that waits to give permission.
Kata, a 43-year-old factory worker, longs to have a child of her own. Following her instinct to cultivate a maternal bond, she befriends Anna, a teenager in the care of the state, and slowly builds a meaningful relationship, which subtly challenges traditional familial structures.
Beautifully shot in black and white, with digital grading overseen by the original director of photography Lajos Koltai (HSC), Adoption examines the strain of isolation and the complexities of social emancipation through the viewpoint of two quietly powerful women.
Adoption is presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project with support from BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery.