During Verzió’s 20-year history, over 1,300 documentary films have been screened and discussed in Budapest and across Hungary, with the festival’s extension of its countrywide screenings and online platform. These films, from around the globe, have covered a myriad of themes. They have been deeply moving, eye-opening, and provocative. They have prompted debates and launched new friendships based on shared interests. The serendipity of new encounters has affected life choices and career decisions. To the open-minded, the festival always provides more than one expects.
From the many, many moving films shown in the past few years, four are highlighted in this homage program. We offer this special treat to those who might remember these documentaries from earlier Verzió editions, and to those who have yet to discover their moving force. Immerse yourself in an eye-opening investigation into Romania’s corrupt healthcare system (Collective); become acquainted with a spirited Afghan teenager, whose musical talent and future is at stake when her mother decides to sell her as a bride (Sonita); follow the dramatic turn in the life of a male nurse living in the world’s most inaccessible area, the “triangle of death” in central Iraq (Nowhere to Hide); and survey the world of “petitioners,” people from all over China who have come to Beijing’s Complaints Office to plead against the injustices they’ve suffered (Petition). These films, just like countless others we’ve screened, did not lose their power to ignite, inspire, and testify.