Hungarian Panorama

Before the night falls

Compared to the previous Verzio editions, this year’s program has fewer films addressing acute present daily problems, such as the refugee crisis and the centralized hate campaign launched in response. Sadly, this is what Hungary is now known for inter nationally. Nevertheless, we can only guess why the films avoid these topics. One possible explanation is that events follow one another with accelerating speed – as I am typing these lines the biggest oppositional daily is being shut down, and it is well possible that by the time you read this, we face yet another attack on free speech or independent organization. Only online news, internet reportage, and blog posts can keep up with the pace. We do not have the time to outrage, let alone soberly recording and analyzing the events. Of all the current events only the teachers’ protests appears to have been made into a memorable documentary Checkered Revolution by Dávid Kresalek and Dóra Soponyai. Balázs Horváth’s Days on Designers attentively follows the life of a couple of drug addicts while Klára Trencsényi’s Train to Adulthood covers not only the past and present of the Budapest Pioneers’ Railway, an interesting topic in its own right, but also the history of the family’s eviction. Of the documentaries on contemporary issues, only Adorján Czakó’s Balu’s story of a couple fighting hard for their seriously ill child ends on a hopeful note. Most films, however, focus on the past – yet not without lessons for the present. Admirable elderly twin sisters tell their stories in Linda Dombrovszky’s Once Upon a Time There Were Two Ballerinas and in Zsuzsa Pálffy’s Dancing for Life. It was dancing that helped the protagonists through the turmoil of Hungary’s turbulent past century, just as music helped the Klezmer musicians – as well as their ancestors – in Soul Exodus. Similarly, Márta Mészáros’ documentary My Mother’s Letters to Stalin is also about hope, which however, remains illusory, as all too often happened in our history. In last year’s Verzio catalog I wrote about the gradually darkening horizon; since then the sky above us has turned even darker. Yet, the dignity of the old ladies who have survived the inferno of the century, the merry singing of Jewish musicians who lived through centuries of persecution serve as a lesson and offer comfort. As Godard put it, “the twilight is the bearer of hope, not of hopelessness… Do not we take our best walks at the fall of night, when tomorrow’s hope is already there?”

György Báron
Hungarian Panorama curator

István Gábor Takács, Alexandra Gurinova, Fazrie Permana, Kolawole Oreoluwa, Muritala Raheemat Module, Karina Muscarina, Taeko Frost, Matt Curtis, Igor Kuzmenko Hungary 2016 90min English & Spanish & Russian & German & Indonesian
One day in the lives of people using drugs under prohibition in 7 countries. Contrasting repressive environments to the contexts where social engagement fosters positive change shows ways towards overcoming dependency and improving community life.
Toldi
Nov 12, 12:00
Adorján Czakó Hungary 2016 30min Hungarian
After a tragic accident, little Balu is fully dependent on his parents. A story of unconditional love and utmost devotion.
Toldi
Nov 13, 14:00
Dávid Kresalek, Dóra Soponyai Hungary 2016 56min Hungarian
Recent demonstrations and strikes show teachers’ determination to protest against the educational governmental policies in Hungary. Can they make their voices heard?
Toldi
Nov 13, 14:00
English Subtitles
Zsuzsa Pálffy Hungary 2016 21min Hungarian
Can dancing help one to survive? Holocaust survivor Éva Fahidi uses the language of dance to tell about her career and her personal destiny.
Toldi
Nov 11, 15:15
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 13, 14:00
English Subtitles
Balázs Horváth Hungary 2016 90min Hungarian
Geri is an addict. Living in a squat without heating he becomes sick and falls into coma. Having survived, he turns back to drugs. With the awareness that his life is at stake, he decides to go to a rehabilitation center. Can he stay clean this time?
Toldi
Nov 10, 16:00
English & Hungarian Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 13, 14:15
English & Hungarian Subtitles
Márta Mészáros Hungary 2015 52min Hungarian & Kyrgyz
Márta Mészáros investigates her mother's fateful past in Soviet Kyrgyzia. A dramatic story of perseverance and love in the dark Stalinist times.
Toldi
Nov 11, 15:15
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 12, 14:30
English Subtitles
Linda Dombrovszky Hungary 2016 26min Hungarian
"Search for what it is to be loved…then your soul is in peace": the once world-famous Kolozs twin ballerinas share their eventful and dramatic family history as they turn 95.
Toldi
Nov 12, 14:30
Csaba Bereczki Hungary 2016 92min English & Hungarian
Five klezmer musicians, four American and one Russian, seek out their roots and the origins of their music. Their parents' and grandparents' past helps them to understand their own identity.
Toldi
Nov 10, 20:15
Kino
Nov 13, 16:00
Klára Trencsényi Hungary 2015 79min Hungarian
A sensitive coming of age drama depicting three teenagers who find an escape from life’s ordeals by working on the Budapest Children’s Railway.
Művész
Nov 10, 20:00
English Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 12, 16:30
English Subtitles