Hungarian director Zsófia Szilágyi discusses her impressive feature debut One Day, avoiding cliches while telling a typical story, fighting over the film’s sound design, and working with child actors.
Before making her first feature film, Zsófia Szilágyi worked closely with Ildikó Enyedi, one of Hungary’s most celebrated contemporary filmmakers. As assistant lecturer to Enyedi at the Hungarian Academy of Film and Theatre, then as casting director on Enyedi’s Oscar-nominated On Body and Soul (2017), Szilágyi sharpened the tools that would make One Day a highlight of Cannes, and an impressively self-assured feature debut.
The film tells a banal yet often untold story — that of a mother of three simply trying to hold on. Anna (Zsófia Szamosi) also suspects her husband is cheating on her. This source of anxiety and the usual stress of daily life pile up to an incredibly tense, heartbreaking, and beautiful finale. The very specific angst of the perfectionist stay-at-home mother has rarely been so realistically depicted on screen, or so heartily felt.
Szilágyi talked to us in Cannes about avoiding cliches while telling a typical story, fighting over the film’s sound design, casting the role of the mother, and working with child actors.