Hungarian Panorama

The Responsibility of Image-makers

At the end of the 1920's, when dark clouds were gathering on the European horizon, Julien Benda and later Mihály Babits wrote about the “betrayal of intellectuals.” Almost a century has passed since; today's intellectuals are people with cameras. We gather information with the help of moving images, even this text is taking shape on a blue, flickering monitor: letters and words too became a part of image universe.

The bigger the danger, the bigger the responsibility of new intellectuals, the image-makers. This darkening fall hundreds of thousands of refugees are on the roads of Europe – families who left everything behind for survival, a hope for a dignified life and a future for their children. It is here that human kindness and human evil become more visible: helping hands on one side, hateful avengers on the other. Some have phones with built-in cameras, others are armed with the mighty arsenal of official media. One can only recall with bitterness that presently the most famous Hungarian “cameraman” is the woman who kicked a father and a small child as they were fleeing, embodying in the most graphic way the government propaganda calling for the protection of the country. The incident was recorded by another camera and thus was made public, saving, if that is at all possible, the reputation of the fellow image-makers.

It is thus obvious why, responding to these sensitive and urgent questions, Verzio Festival program this year has so many films dealing with the refugee crisis. And, as usual, it also includes stories of those marginalized and discriminated in our society, who are, temporarily, not the main official enemy this year. I would have liked to include more cheerful stories but I could not – and it is not by chance. For – as we learn from one of the films – even the vibrant party district of the city where cheerful Hungarians and tourists are drinking craft beer (just a few blocks away from the railway stations where refugees sleep on the concrete), harbors memories of hatred-fed mass killings. The men and women with cameras whose films you can see at Verzio – just like the intellectuals of old times – are the guardians of society's living memory. Without them only official campaigns and state TV images would be left behind for future generations, which would not be able to understand what is done to us and by us.

György Báron
Hungarian Panorama curator

Films in Toldi, Művész, Cirko-Gejzír and KINO are screened in original language with English subtitles.

Gábor Hörcher # Hungary & Germany # 2014 # 72min # Hungarian
A close-up portrait of a rebellious, race-car driving teen coping with the twists and turns of life in rural Hungary.
First Appearance Award, IDFA, 2014.
Toldi
Nov 11, 20:00
English Subtitles
Cirko
Nov 14, 17:30
English Subtitles
Hanna Eichner # Hungary # 2014 # 29min # Hungarian
Dealing with mediated image of the ideal woman, the film offers a glimpse into the lives of 5 young women in Hungary who challenge this stereotype.
Cirko
Nov 12, 16:30
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 14, 12:00
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 15, 14:30
English Subtitles
Dénes Nagy # Hungary # 2015 # 52min # Hungarian
Self-harmers usually hide their scars from the outside world. The film follows characters trying to overcome their unsettled past.
Művész
Nov 11, 20:15
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 14, 18:15
English Subtitles
Cirko
Nov 15, 17:30
English Subtitles
Mária Takács # Hungary # 2015 # 97min # Hungarian
What was it like to live as a gay man in socialist Hungary? Four young men seek answers.
Toldi
Nov 11, 16:00
English Subtitles
Cirko
Nov 15, 16:15
English Subtitles
Bori Bíró # Hungary # 2015 # 12min # Hungarian
A glimpse into the work of a unique initiative offering drug-addicted pregnant women and mothers assistance in Hungary.
Toldi
Nov 15, 14:30
English Subtitles
Eszter Cseke # Hungary # 2015 # 45min # Arabic & English & Hungarian
Ten babies are born every day in Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the Middle East, near the Syrian-Jordanian border. An intimate portrait of a Syrian family and their newborn fifth child.
Toldi
Nov 15, 16:30
English Subtitles & Hungarian Simultaneous Translation
Klára Trencsényi # Hungary # 2014 # 34min # Hungarian & Serbian
A close-up of the Serbian community in South Kosovo fifteen years after the war: a priest, an artist and a teacher prepare for Easter as their community is overwhelmed with fear and isolation, but hopes for a better future.
Cirko
Nov 12, 16:30
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 15, 14:30
English Subtitles
Tarek Raffoul # Hungary # 2013 # 9min # Hungarian
A mother's struggle to secure a future for her 37 year old son with Down-syndrome.
Toldi
Nov 15, 16:30
English Subtitles
Krisztina Meggyes # Hungary # 2015 # 28min # Hungarian
As a new refugee camp is established near Vámosszabadi in Hungary, the village is faced with questions of tolerance, fear of the unknown, migration and globalization.
Toldi
Nov 13, 18:00
English Subtitles
Cirko
Nov 15, 17:30
English Subtitles
Tamás Almási # Hungary # 2015 # 85min # Hungarian
Born in a remote Roma slum in Hungary, a talented young boy’s life changes when he gets accepted to the prestigious Snétberger Music Talent Camp.
Al Jazeera Award for Best Documentary, Sarajevo Film Festival, 2015.
Toldi
Nov 11, 18:00
English Subtitles
Művész
Nov 15, 20:15
English Subtitles
Máté Konkol # Hungary # 2014 # 8min # Hungarian
Conversations in Budapest pubs located in houses that were once marked with a yellow star in 1944. What does this past mean to pub-goers?
Toldi
Nov 15, 16:30
English Subtitles