Explanation for Everything 2023

Magyarázat mindenre

Directed by Gábor Reisz Portraits

A lovesick young student accidentally becomes a right-wing cause célèbre when he fails his exam in this sharp Hungarian satire which recalls the incisive social critiques of the Romanian New Wave.

Aug 11

Hollywood Avondale

Aug 14

The Civic

Hungary In Hungarian with English subtitles
152 minutes Colour / DCP
Sex scenes & offensive language



Júlia Berkes, Mátyás Prikler


Gábor Reisz, Éva Schulze


Kristóf Becsey


Vanda Gorácz, Gábor Reisz

Production Designer

Zsófia Tasnádi

Costume Designer

Rebeka Hatházi


András Kálmán, Gábor Reisz


Gáspár Adonyi-Walsh, István Znamenák, András Rusznák, Rebeka Hatházi


Venice 2023; Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films, Sydney 2024


Best Film Horizons, Venice Film Festival 2023


Ábel is a high school student who is preparing for his graduation exam, while coping with the butterflies his classmate Janka sends to his stomach. Little does he know that his exam will send shockwaves through the nation, turning into a case that exemplifies and amplifies the fraught divisions in Hungarian society.  

Director Gábor Reisz shot Explanation for Everything on a shoestring budget over the course of a couple of weeks in the summer of 2022, feeling the urgency to open a conversation on the state of things in his country. The result is one of the most beautiful, thought-provoking and necessary films European cinema has produced in years. Miraculously conveying complexity through harmonious direction, naturalistic writing and flawless performances, Reisz gives body and soul to the different sides of political debates through a gallery of stunning characters, whom we may not always agree with, but whose reasons we fully understand. Ábel aches when Janka tells him she is in love with their history teacher, Jakab, a leftist professor who is more focused on his academic research than looking after the needs of his family. Ábel’s father György is a deeply loving parent whose adherence to the right-wing ideology of President Orbán finds root in the traumatic communist past of the country.  

Punctuated by Ábel’s cathartic bicycle rides through the majestic urban landscape of Budapest, Explanation for Everything is a call to mutual understanding, full of hope in the youth that comes from the heart of Europe and speaks to the whole world. — Paolo Bertolin