Lawrence O'Toole
April 09, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Shot in stark black and white and set on the Great Plain of Hungary, where the only, eerie sounds are those of birds, Miklos Jancso’s somber and brilliant film reveals a little-known prequel to the Nazi Holocaust. Hungarian resistance fighters against the newly created Austro-Hungarian empire have been rounded up in holding pens where informing is common and death casual. Some sequences, such as prisoners’ hurling themselves from a rooftop to their deaths, are unforgettable. The Round Up‘s original wide-screen images have been letterboxed here but — both unfortunately and mysteriously — only partially, turning a film that would have been graded an A into one deserving a B.

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