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Hungary’s Kornel Mundruczo unveils first English-language film for Netflix

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – The first English-language film of Hungarian award-winning director Kornel Mundruczo will be released on Netflix at the start of next year. Produced by Martin Scorcese and written by Hungarian playwright Kata Wéber, ‘Pieces of a Woman’ stars ‘The Crown’ actress Vanessa Kirby alongside Shia LaBeouf, Molly Parker and Ellen Burstyn.

Acclaimed at the Venice Film Festival, the new Netflix drama is an adaptation of a stage play by Mundruczo himself, ‘Pieces of a Woman’, also written by Kata Wéber, which premiered in December 2018 at Warsaw’s TR Warszawa theatre.

The story follows Martha and Sean Carson (Kirby and LaBeouf), a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives are changed irrevocably when a home birth at the hands of a flustered midwife goes tragically wrong.

According to Screendaily, the drama includes “one of the most harrowing, fraught and realistic birth sequences in recent cinema” – a gruelling 25-minute sequence shot by Mundruczó in a single shot.

“There is not even a fake cut. The actors played it in one. My idea is how you create reality for the audience so they exactly feel what the main character feels during the labour,” the Hungarian director said.

Since the film made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, Vanessa Kirby, who won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress, is already being tipped as an Oscars contender for her performance.

The British actress, who never gave birth herself, prepared for the role by watching endless documentaries and videos, and shadowing midwives in a hospital in North London.

The film will be released in a handful of American cinemas on December 30, before being released digitally by Netflix on January 7, 2021.

Founder of the Hungarian Proton Theatre company, Kornél Mundruczó is best known for his critically-acclaimed drama ‘White God’ (Fehér isten), supported by the Hungarian Film Fund, which won the prize Un Certain Regard at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and was screened in the Spotlight section of Sundance Film Festival in 2015.

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.

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