The Lovers Under the Danube (Los amantes bajo el Banubio)

Is there any motive more powerful than love or hate?

Budapest, 1944. The war and the Nazi occupation has brought absolute and utter chaos to the European city. Hardship, anguish and persecution reach the lives of Bora, Marga, Andris and Hanna, inhabitants of the city and witnesses of atrocious events.

Bora and Hanna could not be more different; he comes from a traditional Hungarian aristocratic family and she has a rich Jewish merchant legacy to follow… but, despite the disapproval from both families, they fell madly in love with each other. This was, of course, before reality slowly slipped through the cracks of their relationship, before Hanna cheated on Bora, before the war…

Years went by, and Bora and Hanna each went their separate ways. He had followed his family´s footsteps, and became a renowned painter and diplomat. His kin could not have been more proud, as he finally married Magra, the woman they had always approved of (and that they had arranged for) since they were children. The same goes for Hanna, who married Andris: a fellow Jewish friend and whom she cheated on Bora with.

When the Nazi’s invade Budapest, the lives of all Jewish people are in grave danger. Bora is still crazy about Hanna; feelings that could put them in danger, because he decides to protect her at all costs from the invasion, and shelters both her and Andris in his basement. His only hope: to save their lives. On the other hand, Magra watches as her husband is unable to let go of Hanna; he is stuck in the grief and memory of his past.

Thus, the story evolves on two different levels: a literal one (between his basement and his home upstairs) and a metaphorical one (the tension between the partners´ relationships).  If this weren´t enough, they must withstand the daily visit of a nazi soldier, who has asked Bora to paint his portrait. Before the war, Bora and the soldier met in Turkey, and the soldier clearly recalls Bora´s wife (Hanna, at the time) being Jewish.

Consequently, there is a constant tension in the air: Will Magra give away Hanna and Andris out of spite? Will Bora and Hanna flee away together, leaving everything behind? Will Andris attempt to escape, causing grave danger to the others? Are they willing to risk it all for love?

Destiny is unpredictable and will lead Bora and Magra to exile in Argentina, where life will keep surprising and terrorizing them.

Based on real events, author Federico Andahazi is inspired by his very own grandfather´s life, who sheltered his ex-wife and her husband in his home during the nazi invasion.


RELEVANT DATA: Thanks to Federico Andahazi´s works like The Anatomist and The Conqueror, the author is considered an outstanding figure in contemporary Latin American literature. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages and has sold well over a million copies around the world. Over the course of his career, he has won various prestigious awards like the Planeta Argentina Award, the  Cuentos de la Segunda Bienal de Arte Joven de Buenos Aires Award, the Concurso Anual Literario Desde la Gente Award, and the CAMED Award.


Critics have said:

“With passionate expertise, Andahazi traces both his grandfather´s and father´s past, genuinely recreating Hungary during the Second World War, plagued by the German occupation and then the Soviet liberation. It portrays, scene by scene, the difficulty of losing everything, of surviving through doomed love, escaping and having the courage to immigrate to a different country.” Goodreads


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.

LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: Spanish, English, Hungarian.

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