There Was Once... Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This film is about a Catholic high school teacher in Kalocsa, Hungary who while doing research in local history discovers the lost Jewish community that once thrived there. She shares her research with her students, teaching tolerance, fighting prejudice. She organized a memorial for this lost community, which was attended by the Mayor, the Archbishop, several survivors and second and third generations. At the same time the neo-Nazi party of Hungary held a demonstration and a young girl visiting from New York was hit by a sling shot while attending a memorial service at the newly restored Jewish cemetery. (Gabor Kalman Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Sep 24, 2011
    80
    Hungarian schoolteacher Gyongi Mago's campaign to raise awareness of her hometown's once-vibrant, now conspicuously absent Jewish population is captured in the superior docu There Was Once ...
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Sep 22, 2011
    70
    Much in this wholly absorbing and poignant documentary is familiar from numerous previous Holocaust accounts, but Mago and her quiet sense of moral obligation provides a fresh perspective.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Sep 19, 2011
    63
    A not insignificant act of oral history, Gabor Kalman's There Was Onceā€¦ makes for considerably less compelling cinema whenever it turns its focus away from the talking-head testimony of the Holocaust survivors of Kalosca, Hungary.
  4. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Sep 20, 2011
    60
    The neo-Nazi sentiment in Hungary today is touched on most acutely when it mars the memorial that finally brings the survivors home.
  5. Reviewed by: David DeWitt
    Sep 22, 2011
    60
    Ah, well. "There Was Once ...may feel like sober, do-gooder public television, but it has integrity, recording one specific town's slice of living history. Simple as that, it's a worthy document.