The uncensored version of The Witness premiered in Cannes
Again a Hungarian film was premiered at Cannes Classics, this time The Witness in original uncensored version. The 4K restoration, colour grading of the details so far unknown for the public was carried out at the Hungarian Filmlab.
For the reconstruction of the original version the Film Archive used the original camera negative and outtakes, the only existing uncensored positive print and the original magnetic sound. Originally, the film didn’t contain the scene at the end of the film (tram scene taking place in the present) which was built in due to the directive of the cenzorship.
The feature was first screened in Cannes in 1981 in the programme Un Certain Regard, then distributed in 32 countries.
„Blending comedy with tragedy to show up the absurdities of the system, the film wounded official political sensitivities, and it was immediately withdrawn and shelved for 10 years. When it was finally shown in Hungary, The Witness attracted a cult following, and some of Virág's expressions, such as "not being suspicious at all is most suspicious of all", have entered the lexicon.” (Ronald Bergan, The Guardian)