Diary for My Children is set in Hungary during the turbulent years between 1943 and 1956. Jan Nowicki plays a dual role as the factory-worker friend of revolutionary journalist Anna Polony, and as the political-prisoner father of teen-aged heroine Zsusza Czinkoczi. It is Czinkoczi's involvement with both of the men played by Nowicki, which bridges the film's time-frame. Writer/director Marta Meszaros based the events of Diary for My Children on her own wartime experiences (her father was a Communist artist who died under mysterious circumstances during a Stalinist purge). The film was originally released in Hungary as Napló gyermekeimnek; it was the recipient of a Special Jury Prize at Cannes.