Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Hungarian writer/director Ágnes Kocsis' minimalist, slice-of-life comedy drama Fresh Air (Friss Levego) concerns two women, Viola (Julia Nyako) and her daughter, Angéla (Izabella Hegyi), who live together in a cramped Budapest apartment. Whereas Viola has accepted a bottom-of-the-barrel job supervising toilets in the local metro, Angéla aspires to great heights, fantasizing endlessly about building a career for herself as a fashion designer. Although, on the surface, little appears to draw the women together (aside from a single television program), they do, in fact, share deep-seated emotional bonds and ties. Kocsis evinces a deep benevolence for both of her central characters, and uses the film's minimalist approach to identify with (and help the viewer identify with) each of the women; her behavioral observations are laden with deep truths and insights. She also fills the frame with slight, subtle, and offhanded witticisms, all rooted in wondrous banality, such as Viola's decision to beautify the restrooms at her workplace with various colors of toilet paper and different air fresheners. Kocsis co-wrote the script with Andrea Roberti.