The Fifth Seal

The Fifth Seal ★★★★★

A watchmaker, a book seller and a carpenter walk into a bar...

Under normal circumstances the above sentence would launch into a joke, but this film is no laughing matter. Instead we have the set up for a thrilling chamber piece where a bunch of seemingly disparate fellows drinking in a bar are posed a question by one of the group, a moral quandary in fact that will challenge the conscience of each in different ways throughout the course of that night. Then shit gets real... Or does it?

The title alludes to a biblical verse in Revelation regarding the opening of the fifth seal, and the apocalyptic tone of the words weigh heavily upon the characters and the setting of the film.

A shockingly under-seen gem set in Budapest in 1944 by Hungarian filmmaker Zoltán Fábri, that I dare not spoil for anyone reading my words. All I implore is that you seek it out and thank me later!

Some great post-viewing reading can be found here from my good friend Aditya Gokhale:

and another fine analysis here:

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