Hungarian Panorama

Another Hungary ...

... is the title of Dénes Nagy’s documentary, a cunning work that seems to be “only” about visual artist Imre Bukta. Yet like the ancient painters, the film places its model in a time and a landscape, that of the quiet, miserable little village where the population is dwindling, in which this great artist lives, and from where he gains inspiration, or rather, strength for his art. The title is also cunning: which Hungary could this “other Hungary” be? It was novelist Géza Ottlik who coined the term, and as he put it, this other Hungary is a Hungary of the spirit, the better face of our homeland. It is the light of day in Bukta’s art and that of others who, in defiance of increasing pressure, stand up for quality, stature and the spirit. This is the real Hungary, writes Ottlik, in opposition to the official one, which is “only an abstraction”. And while our life is dominated by this abstraction, the residents of the impoverished Hungarian village live and suffer in the real world. In this film, they talk about their fate, not so much in words, but in the telling images: the shabby, ramshackle room interiors, dusty and muddy roads, houses on the verge of collapse, and most of all, the tired and crumpled faces, the lifeless and hopeless looks.

With the exception of Diána Groó’s moving and virtuoso film, each piece in this year’s Hungarian panorama is about this other Hungary or, at times, in Here We Go! - The Uccu Project or Homo Ludens, about the intersection of the two worlds, where the inhabitants try to knock down the communication barriers, and understand one another. The camera people behind these films – most of whom are young – are citizens of the “other”, increasingly depopulated Hungary: the real Hungary. In Ottlik’s bitter words, “no one heard the hopeful voice of the other Hungary, and darkness and cold came over us”. He goes on to say that “the new ‘pursuit of hate’ … lead to loathing and fear.” Now, once again, hope is diminishing, the light is fading and the air has become chilly. The importance of these documentaries is difficult to overestimate. On the primary level, they are about the depths of Hungary, but on the second, they are about the filmmakers who care about its inhabitants. In these films, the citizens of the real Hungary – the messengers and the humiliated – shake hands above the surface of the abstract Hungary.

György Báron
Hungarian Program curator

Toldi
Nov 8, 18:30
English Subtitles
Dénes Nagy | Hungary | 2013 | 51min | Hungarian
Renowned Hungarian artist Imre Bukta attempts to reconnect with the village of his birth, revealing the harsh realities of a remote rural community.
Toldi
Nov 7, 20:15
English Subtitles
Dóra Szelei | Hungary | 2013 | 19min | Hungarian
A film about the Uccu Roma Informal Educational Foundation, an NGO fighting prejudices in Hungarian society.
Toldi
Nov 7, 20:15
Hungarian Subtitles
Máté Tóth Ridovics | Hungary & France | 2012 | 62min | Hungarian & French & English
Preparations for a film and theatre production about French immigrants go awry when the protagonist starts questioning his own role.
Toldi
Nov 6, 20:15
English Subtitles
Diana Groó | UK & Hungary & Germany | 2013 | 63min | Hungarian
One photograph and almost 50 hours of archival footage tell the extraordinary story of Regina Jonas, the world’s first female rabbi.
Toldi
Nov 7, 18:00
Hungarian Subtitles
Viktor Oszkár Nagy, András Petrik | Hungary | 2013 | 50min | Hungarian & English & Serbian & Spanish & Pashto & Farsi
Third country migrants at the Serbian-Hungarian border: who will care?

NGO Focus

Toldi
Nov 7, 18:15
English Subtitles
Ádám Surányi | Hungary | 2012 | 10min | Hungarian
In the village of Magyarbánhegyes, banned vigilantes patrol to "protect civilians." Local Roma people, however, feel threatened.
Toldi
Nov 7, 18:15
András D. Hajdú, Balázs Szabó, Márton Magócsi | Hungary | 2012 | 12min | Hungarian
Multimedia report about the daily struggles of the Roma living in the slums of Nagybánya (Baia Mare), Romania Transylvania.
Toldi
Nov 7, 18:15
English Subtitles
Márti Mészáros | Hungary | 2012 | 40min | Hungarian
A critical look at the situation of sex workers in Hungary and an NGO dedicated to protecting their rights.