About the FILMS shown at the 2010 Hungarian Congress
Friday, November 26
10:00 am-12:00 pm Sin and Innocence. Chats with Béla Bizsku.
Two young film producers, Fruzsina Skrabski and Tamás Novák, try to answer the question, does a major communist-socialist political leader who helped put down the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, have any regrets for his actions, and would he be willing to apologize to the Hungarian people, who suffered greatly from his actions?
1:30-4:00 pm The Bridgeman
This epic takes place between 1820 and 1860 during the Habsburg Monarchy, and portrays the life one of the greatest Hungarian aristocrats – Count Széchenyi. Fidesz and Viktor Orbán, the party’s leader and prime minister had supported the making of the film financially and ideologically.
4:00-5:00 pm ÁVÓsok
The AVO (ÁllamVédelmi Osztaly) was Hungary’s State Security Agency (1945-56), a much hated and brutal secret police. The work of the AVO created a constant climate of fear and terror and by November 1956 this, along with the economic climate that existed in Hungary, spilled over and was one of the main causes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The headquarters of the AVO was at 60, Andrassy Place in Budapest. This address is now a museum and known as “The Terror House.” This film, part of a trilogy, was made in 1994 for Hungarian TV. But its supporters believe that viewings and copies have been suppressed for political reasons.
8:30 pm Inkubátor
Inkubátor tells the story of an unlikely reunion – one which involves a Hungarian rock opera performed in the Sierra Nevada mountains by a cast of 40-something Hungarian-Americans. They meet in the same exact spot they performed Stephen, the king 25 years ago, during a summer camp in 1984. That summer the Soviets still had tanks stationed in Hungary, and the country was isolated behind the Iron Curtain. Many of these scouts had never been to Hungary, where their parents were born. The reunion of this original cast, now living all over the world including Budapest, makes for an emotional and humorous portrait of one of many “incubators” operating in the U.S. over the years. They’re meeting not only to reminisce, but also to figure out just who they’ve become, twenty years after the “Motherland” was liberated.
Saturday, November 27
9:30-11:15 am No Subtitles Necessary (2008, in English, 96 min.)
Dir.: James Chressanthis
The artistry, triumph and lifelong friendship of the great cinematographers László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond. With film school equipment, they shoot the Soviet crackdown of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The film follows the lives of these two renowned cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond from escaping the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary to present day.
As film students in Hungary and with only film school equipment, they had shot footage of the Russian invasion of Budapest and crackdown of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. They subsequently volunteered to smuggle their footage out of the country. Barely escaping with their lives, they fled to America and settled in Hollywood, eventually saving enough money to buy their own 16mm camera to begin shooting movies. As refugees they struggle in Hollywood, finally breaking into the mainstream with their pivotal contribution to the “American New Wave.”
Both rose to prominence in the late 60’s and 70’s having shot films such as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, Paper Moon, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. During that time, working with directors including Robert Altman, Bob Rafelson, Peter Bogdanovich, and Martin Scorsese, they helped define a new American film aesthetic, and pioneered innovative, fearless ways to tell stories.
This is the story of a 50 year journey, an intimate portrait of two giants of modern imagemaking and their deep bond of brotherhood that transcended every imaginable boundary. Two heroes. One road.
Source: adapted from – http://www.laszloandvilmos.com/story.html
2:00-3:30 pm Dracula’s Shadow – The Real Story Behind the Romanian Revolution (90 min., in English)
Chilling Cold War account about what really started the bloody revolution in Romania on December 15, 1989, when church supporters of the dissident Protestant Minister László Tőkés in Timisoara / Temesvár rallied around his church to protect him from the military and Romanian Secret Police, the Securitate. (meet the director Árpád Szőczi, afterwards)
For the first time, Director/Producer Szőczi has gathered those who were involved in the unraveling of Nicolae Ceausescu’s oppressive regime in Romania. This ninety-minute film tells the story of how one clandestine interview with Hungarian Protestant Minister László Tőkés in Temesvár / Timisoara changed history.
The chilling Cold War account begins with the secret mission of two French-Canadians – former Quebec Cabinet Minister Michel Clair and Radio-Canada reporter Réjean Roy – sent in March 1989 to Temesvár / Timisoara (in Erdély), Romania. They were sent to secretly videotape an interview with Tőkés, a leading member of Romania s large Hungarian minority, under intense secret police surveillance. True Soviet-style intrigue and subterfuge ensued. The story of how those tapes were released has never been told, until now. No Western media would air the interview, but when Hungarian TV finally did, it led to the history-turning, secret police-defying demonstrations of December 15 where hundreds defended the dissident pastor. The film also discloses the names of former informers and spies, thanks to the Securitate files now being released.
4:00-5:00 pm Portions of Puskás Hungary
This is a spectacular, exciting and emotional portrayal of Ferenc Puskás, the kid from Kispest who became the brightest star in the footballing galaxy.