An arresting, ambitious anti-war drama, shot in widescreen and stunning black-and-white, about a group of army deserters (from an unspecified conflict) who seek refuge in a remote village populated entirely by women and girls (their menfolk are presumably in war service). The women are persuaded to let them stay, an act that carries a severe penalty... The film is as interested in sexual politics and the survival of traditional (and repressive) social forms as it is in its overall pacifist thrust, and sets up a series of remarkable tableaux (the envious, hardened faces of the black-clad elders) and formal, almost ritualist, set pieces (a sexually frenzied dance between one of the deserters and the virgin white-dressed girls, for instance). There is a pained, poetic quality to the film and its imagery that produces a strong pull on the imagination, but the (deliberate) omission of specific references (what is the film-maker saying, if anything, about the Hungary of 1969?) leads to a slightly disconcerting obscurity.