I was slacking off this morning (it’s a Saturday, after all) and I decided to watch a DVD that has been lying around my desk for months. It’s an award-winning Hungarian movie, KONTROLL. No, it has nothing to do with Maxwell Smart’s CONTROL, fighting the evil agents of KAOS. KONTROLL, a movie about the lives of ticket inspectors, train conductors, a serial killer, and other strange characters, is set in its entirety in the Budapest subway system. A subway system that becomes a world by itself, with no daylight, no sunshine, and no contact with the outside world other than through the anonymous masses of subway passengers. I read wonderful things about this movie (it has won a respectable number of international awards) and all I can say is that its reputation is well deserved. Wow! I was in the second grade when the first modern subway line opened in Budapest (the city has a single underground line that is much older, built in 1896, but the first line of the new modern subway system was opened in 1970) and the subway has been part of my daily life until I left Hungary in 1986. Still, I don’t think that after watching this movie I’ll ever be able to look at those subways quite the same way as before.