what is the theme?
I watched this on the DVD release available in Hungary. In the extras there's a lot of blurb about how it enshrines the values of honour, loyalty, patriotism, and belonging to a community. But I think the story actually subverts these things, by showing us how the values we hold can easily turn out to be mistaken, or worse, completely irrelevant. Two gangs fight, one boy even dies, for control over a piece of land that ultimately neither of them has a right to.
It's a story that speaks volumes about human endeavour generally in the big wide world outside Pal utca. A visit to Pal utca today to see the state of the building that occupies the ex-grund confirms this sense of loss: crumbling plaster, a take-away pizza place, and a shiny plaque (a gift from Italy) commemorating the "children from the suburbs all over the world".