Kata works in a factory. A widow who is turning 43, she’s been having an affair with a married colleague for some time. Kata wants to have a child, but her lover, who already has two children, won’t hear of it. Then Kata meets 17-year-old Anna, who lives in a reformatory, and takes the young woman under her wing. She allows Anna to stay in her apartment so the younger woman can spend time with her boyfriend; the two women have long discussions, and the older woman stands up for Anna with the director of the home. Kata begins to uncouple emotionally from her lover. She goes to see Anna’s parents and urges them to allow Anna to fulfil her dream of marrying the boyfriend … In still images and long takes, Márta Mészáros tells the story of a lovely friendship between a lonely woman and her “trial run daughter”. The camera explores the bodies of the two protagonists with a tenderness equal to the sensitivity with which the film reveals their inner damage and their yearning for human warmth in a cold world. With Örökbefogadás in 1975, Márta Mészáros became the first female director to win a Golden Bear at the Berlinale.
by Márta Mészáros
with Katalin Berek, Gyöngyvér Vigh, Péter Fried, László Szabó, István Szőke, Flóra Kádár, János Boros, Erzsi Varga
Hungary 1975 Hungarian 87’ Black/White


  • Katalin Berek
  • Gyöngyvér Vigh
  • Péter Fried
  • László Szabó
  • István Szőke
  • Flóra Kádár
  • János Boros
  • Erzsi Varga


Director Márta Mészáros
Screenplay Márta Mészáros, Ferenc Grunwalsky, Gyula Hernádi
Cinematography Lajos Koltai, Márta Mészáros
Editing Éva Kármentő
Music György Kovács
Sound István Wolf
Art Director Tamás Banovich
Costumes Zsuzsa Vicze
Producer Miklós Köllő

World sales

Hungarian National Film Fund – Film Archive, Budapest

Additional information

DCP: Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchívum, Budapest