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My Twentieth Century (1989)

Az én XX. századom (original title)
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Separated identical twins ride an Orient Express unaware of each other: a feminist anarchist and a hedonistic courtesan, living under the powder-keg Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Separate ... See full summary »


Ildikó Enyedi


Ildikó Enyedi
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Cast overview:
Dorota Segda ... Dóra / Lili / Anya (as Dorotha Segda)
Oleg Yankovskiy ... Z
Paulus Manker ... Weininger Ottó
Péter Andorai Péter Andorai ... Thomas Edison
Gábor Máté ... K
Gyula Kéry Gyula Kéry ... ékszerész (as Kéri Gyula)
Andrej Schwartz Andrej Schwartz ... Segéd
Sándor Téri ... Huszár (as Téry Sándor)
Sándor Czvetkó Sándor Czvetkó ... Anarchista fiú
Endre Koronczi Endre Koronczi ... Lift boy
Ágnes Kovács Ágnes Kovács ... Iker
Eszter Kovács Eszter Kovács ... Iker


Separated identical twins ride an Orient Express unaware of each other: a feminist anarchist and a hedonistic courtesan, living under the powder-keg Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Separate families adopted the impoverished orphans. At the dawn of the 20th Century the double-blind experiment hits crescendo for Dora & Lili, born the evening Edison unveiled his incandescent bulb. In 1900, technology was accelerating, could women's rights and national self-determination keep pace? Written by David Stevens

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Comedy | Drama


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Hungary | West Germany | Cuba



Release Date:

13 January 1990 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

My Twentieth Century See more »

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Did You Know?


Voted as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films" ("New Budapest 12") by Hungarian filmmakers and critics in 2000. See more »


Edited into Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

a hopeful mix of human emotion lit by electricity.
10 September 2002 | by Charlie-209See all my reviews

In My Twentieth Century, the world begins to move electrically - dramatically, beautifully shown in electric dance costumes, marching bands and mirrored halls, spurred by a sad-faced (I really liked his face) actor as Edison, intoning toward the end that As god is magnificent for his creation, man is magnificent in learning how to harness it (not quite the line, but best I can do).

Meanwhile, twin orphan girls fall asleep, like the match girl in the Andersen story, hoping a lighted match will warm them on a snowy eve. Stars and a miraculous donkey lead well-dressed men to carry them to safety but in separate directions of compass and life. Later, one of them, now a poor anarchist, drops her copy of Kropotkin's "Mutual Aid" in the snow where a man finds it, reads it's message of cooperation and play among animals (in great distinction to the then popular capitalist theory of 'social darwinism' - "survival of the fittest" and "red in tooth and claw") through the night and becomes entwined in the narrative as he meets one of the young women and then the other, none of them knowing of the twin presence.

Kropotkin's observations, while brought in by a revolutionary, seemed to be the narrative of a playful counterpoint to the technologically modern world. I didn't see his words used as narrative as a turning back so much as a development that goes arm in arm with the other. His observations of rabbits "so drunk with play" they lack "fear of the fox" are juxtaposed with scenes of the man and the young women as they tryst happily and alternately take offense. While the anarchist seemed put off by the man's brusque manner (he had justifiably mistaken her for the more libidinous sister) the affairs seemed modern and innocent in consequence - no french lieutenant's woman fate, no scarlet letter. While Edison prepares to send a message by wire around the world, the young women and their man unite (it's vague but...) and wake to scenes of white pigeons in flight also carrying messages. Edison even confronts one before sending his own message.

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