Dawn breaks in Hungary, and a hard-working Romani family slowly begins their seemingly ordinary day: a mother who works as a cleaning lady, a studious daughter and an inventive young son more interested in building a secret hideout than in schoolwork. These are not ordinary times, however: a death squad has been targeting their community, and as dawn fades to dusk this “ordinary” family may find such terrors even closer to home. Based on a terrifying real-life series of attacks that left over 15 Romani family homes firebombed in 2008, with 55 individuals injured and six dead, Bence Fliegauf’s bone-chilling tale offers a harrowing, hour-by-hour commemoration of a daily life spent on society’s margins, where modest pleasures and hard-won victories still survive under poverty and both petty and concrete racism. “I tried not to portray Romanies drumming on jugs, playing violins, dancing, [or other stereotypes],” noted director Fliegauf, who returned to Hungary after making the English-language sci-fi film Womb (2010), and who first came to attention with the award-winning Dealer (SFIFF 2005) and Milky Way (2007). The film’s every-small-moment-counts, day-in-the-life structure recalls the absorbing immediacy of recent works like The Death of Mr. Lazarescu or Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, yet expands such aesthetics of realism into a riveting portrait of everyday Romani life, and a devastating critique of institutionalized bigotry and social inequality.