Europe

Hungarian Film Club Returns to Berlin

The Club's New Season Provides a Chance to Experience Independent Hungarian Cinema

September 20th, 2016
Daniel Erhardt, Berlin Global
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The Hungarian Film Club’s season has once again started at the Collegium Hungaricum Hungarian Cultural Institute in Berlin. One initiative of the communication and media production company, ‘The Speak Easy Project’, is based in both Berlin and Budapest and aims to excite Berlin’s interest in independent Hungarian cinema productions.

The Hungarian Film Club’s productions, which are otherwise not shown in any other German cinemas, invite indie cinema lovers to gain different cultural perspectives, the authenticity of which are augmented by the films being shown in their original Hungarian versions with English subtitles. Since the 14th of September, there has been the chance to experience and get in touch with the contemporary Hungarian film scene once a month.

This season’s debut was the film ‘Free Fall’, an analysis of the dark side of Hungarian society directed by György Pálfi, who is otherwise known for very personal, dark and socially critical films such as ‘Hukkle’, a dialogue-free film about life in a village in the Hungarian countryside, as well as ‘Taxidermia’, a grotesque, dark-comedy which tells the story of an unusual family over three generations.

‘Free-Fall’ begins with a suicide attempt off the top of an apartment building by an old lady who is fed up with her life. However, in keeping with Pálfi’s characteristic dark humour, she miraculously survives. In a bizarre twist, she is obliged to climb the seven stories of the building again, through which the film’s plot develops around the stories of the inhabitants of the building’s seven floors. Throughout the film, the strange anxieties present in people’s daily lives are showcased, highlighting the way in which they can ultimately lead to a person going against one’s own natural survival instinct.

The film, starring Piroska Molnár, Réka Tenki, Zsolt Trill and Zsolt Nagy, has won prizes for both Best Direction and the Jury Prize at the 2014 Karlovy Vari Film Festival in the Czech Republic.

‘Free-Fall’ is also the prelude to a bigger project co-organized by the Collegium Hungaricum and Speak Easy Berlin called ‘Huniwood’ Hungarian Film Festival, to take place in Berlin from the 13th to the 24th of October 2016. The project aims to help fill this autumn with opportunities for Berlin’s film fans to experience a variety of samples of Hungary’s contemporary cultural milieu. It promises to be an intercultural experience that will allow for a better social and cultural insight into Hungary, a country that is presently placed under European watch due to its recent controversial political decisions.

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