Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi's film On Body and Soul fetched the Golden Bear prize at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. In an interview with the German Deutcshlandradio following her film's win, the director expressed her distaste with the current state of Hungarian politics, as well as with the current government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. MEP Tamás Deutsch, one of the founding members of Mr. Orbán's ruling Fidesz party, responded to Enyedi's statement on Facebook, commenting:
"Dear Ildikó, what is currently happening in our homeland is that, for the first time in twelve years you were finally able to make a film. Don't be ashamed, and don't be afraid of it."
Enyedi was asked about a scene in On Body and Soul in which a police officer is bribed to ignore a crime, and whether or not this scene is meant to reflect the current state of Hungarian society. Enyedi responded, saying that "This is our everyday life. Ok, give me a little meat, a little from this, a little from that—that was socialism...But what is happening in our homeland today is shameful, and truly fills me with fear."
The director went on to argue that what American citizens are now experiencing with the electoral victory of businessman and former reality-TV host Donald Trump is something that Hungarians have been living with for years:
"To those living in the United States in the aftermath of their election, I would like to say: look, we here [in Hungary] went throughout this same thing years ago. Unfortunately, however, I no good advice to give, because we can't seem to solve this problem either. From a certain view this is scary because not only do they [the Hungarian government] work around the laws in a dishonest way, they are changing and destroying the basis of laws and are destroying the foundations of democracy and democratic control. I would love to be proud of my country, but I have not been able to for many years, and that is painful to me."
The film was also given the prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), the Ecumenical Jury Prize and the readers' prize of German daily Berliner Morgenpost, the Hungarian Film Fund said. On Body and Soul tells the story of two people working at a slaughterhouse in Budapest who discover that they have the same dreams at night and they attempt to make them come true. "We wanted to shoot a simple film, one that is as simple as a glass of water," Enyedi said in a short speech at the awards ceremony.
The only Hungarian film that won the prestigious award previously was Márta Mészáros's Adoption in 1975. However, Ildikó Enyedi's Body and Soul is not the only Hungarian success at this year's Berlinale: 1945, a black-and-white history drama directed by Ferenc Török, has been handed out the bronze medal of the 'Audience Award.'
The leading pro-government daily contends that Ildikó Enyedi's success at the Berlin film festival indicates that the Hungarian public film funding system works well. A left-wing commentator acknowledges the state's role in the success, but nonetheless considers the fund distribution scheme absurd.
Hungarian film production is back in the world's top league, Dániel Levente Pál writes in Magyar Idők. The pro-government commentator underscores that Enyedi Ildikó's movie as well as the Oscar winning Son of Saul directed by László Nemes Jeles were both funded by the Hungarian National Film Fund. All this, Pál believes, is a proof that the Hungarian public film funding system created and led by the Hungarian-American film producer Andy Vajna is a success story.
Népszava's Judit Kósa, on the other hand, thinks that the Hungarian public film funding scheme is a joke. The left-wing columnist finds it 'absurd and frightening' that public funding is distributed by a former Hollywood producer and state employees help the creation of Hungarian films. Kósa contends that it is a 'miracle' and a rare exception that the Hungaian National Film Fund supported Ildikó Enyedi's film, a movie which was fully deserving of that backing.
Source: Magyar Nemzet; 444.hu; Hungarytoday.hu; facebbok.com
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:22