The 2022 Verzió Hungarian Competition selection once again attests to the diverse and exciting work carried out in Hungarian documentary film ateliers. When putting together the program, the preliminary jury strove to include those works which processed their chosen topics in the most exciting and successful way, with the help of the documentary form. Fortunately, this quality criterion did not eliminate diversity; the list of Hungarian films shows great variety in theme and format, while addressing the burning issues of our age.
Though some of the ten films lead us to distant lands (The Missing Tale tells us about a Jewish community in Southern India), most deal with the cultural, historical and human dilemmas in our immediate environment. The individual fate of the protagonists of Holy Dilemma, Ali, the Hungarian Yazidi, and Beauty of the Beast, draws a picture of the outdated and restrictive traditions that linger today, and the difficulties of being a refugee or someone with a unique lifestyle. There is a subgroup of films we could call “the power of art”: Howling Like We Do explores Lajos Kassák’s legacy and relevance for our times; KIM is a portrait of a young artist’s tragic fate; and Prayer for the Weary captures a moving neurodivergent experience through poetry. Discussing historical and social dilemmas has traditionally been an important mission of Hungarian documentaries. This year’s program contains three such films with very different tones: Unprocessed aims to preserve the memory of a series of racially-motivated murders of Roma people in 2008–2009; It Has Passed, and It's Fine evokes an era in Ózd in a nostalgic manner; finally, Whose Dog Am I? entertainingly and self-ironically contemplates the topic of nationalism.
This year’s Hungarian competition offers both moving and thought-provoking experiences, as well as wholesome entertainment.
Janka Pozsonyi, Lóránt Stőhr, Teréz Vincze
Hungarian Competition selection committee