Cain's ChildrenOriginal Title: Káin gyermekei
Director: Marcell Gerő
Hungary, France | Hungarian
Subtitles: Arabic, English
Eligible for Child Protection Award
Inspired by the 1985 cult documentary, Bebukottak (The Fallen), which follows six teenage prisoners in one of Hungary’s harshest juvenile penitentiaries, filmmaker Marcell Gerö sets out to find these men to see where they are today. Gerö selects three of the original six, all of whom committed murder at 14 or 15 years old. Pali, József and Zsolt spent long years behind bars in the highest security prison in the former Communist Hungary.
Working with the powerful original footage from Bebukottak, the three men reflect on their actions and the impact on their future. Through his unique approach to questioning, Gerö earns the trust of his subjects, leaving some provocative questioning to other characters in the film. Juxtaposing the original footage with new recordings, the film illustrates how memory and attitude change over time and how the dream that all of them had to build a future for themselves—a family, an honest job, a decent house—never became true. The curse of Cain never left them, thanks to a system built to punish, not to reintegrate teenage criminals into society.
Filmmaker Marcell Gerö weaves the contrasts between his subjects expertly as he accompanies them in their everyday lives and in doing so also sheds a new light on Hungary, past and present.