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The Independent Critic

Henry Kissinger, Otto von Habsburg
Klaudia Kovacs, Endre Hules
97 Mins.

 "Torn From the Flag" Review 
"Torn from the Flag" is, without a doubt, the definitive documentary about the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
What revolution, you say?
Whether you're a history buff or simply curious, "Torn from the Flag" is an often riveting and impassioned documentary about the events leading up and including the 1956 uprising in Hungary and the brutal Soviet response.
Directed by Klaudia Kovacs and Endre Hules, "Torn from the Flag" also benefits immensely from the cinematography of Laszlo Kovacs ("Paper Moon," "Easy Rider" and no relation to the director). Footage includes black-and-white footage that Kovacs and fellow Hungarian cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond shot while they were students in Budapest and managed to smuggle out of the country.
"Torn from the Flag" is, despite its obvious anti-communist agenda, a remarkable history lesson largely owing to the director's extensive research and a wealth of interviews from the likes of former Hungarian secret police, international historians, freedom fighters and even Henry Kissinger. While the film, at times, seems to rely over abundantly on "talking heads," it certainly helps when the talking heads are as interesting as Kovacs has managed to track down.
Kovacs deals honestly with the rebellion, and looks intensely at how the brutal Soviet response was allowed to happen by a world, the United States included, that stood by and did nothing.
A must see for history buffs and likely to hold the interest of virtually anyone else who finds themselves regularly checking out the History Channel, "Torn from the Flag" was an Official Selection during the 2008 Indianapolis International Film Festival.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic