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Films of Hungary

The Witness, Peter Bacso, (1969)

The Witness from Peter Bacso is a comedy about one of Hungary’s most hideous periods of history. The film takes place in Hungary during the Stalinist era, between 1948 and 1953, which was a time of terrible repression in Hungary. The genre of comedy is used to pointedly satirize these harsh years.


Kontroll is a Hungarian comedy-thriller released to theatres in 2003. Shown internationally, mainly in art house theatres, the film is a darkly comic thriller set on the Budapest Metro.

"Kontroll" in Hungarian refers to the act of ticket inspectors checking to ensure a rider has paid their fare. The story revolves around the ticket inspectors, riders, and a possible killer.

The film was written and directed by Nimród Antal and starred Sándor Csányi, Zoltán Mucsi, and Csaba Pindroch. The film was entered in a number of film festivals in Europe and North America. It won the Gold Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival.

A kind of America

The film is situated in Budapest, where the brothers Ákos, András, and Tamás live. Tamás is a director of video clips and commercials, but dreams of directing a feature film. He has written a script with the title 'The Guilty City', but has trouble financing the project. To his surprise he receives an email from an American film producer named Alex Brubeck, who writes that he likes the script. Offering to pay half the budget, he likes to meet Tamás personally in Budapest to talk thing through. With the help of his brothers Ákos, a successful manager and sex addict, and András, a failed poet, he does everything to impress the American producer.

Eclipse of the Crescent Moon

The novel consists of five parts that tell the life of Gergely Bornemissza from the age of eight until the year 1552, when he is in his early thirties.

I. Gergely is a half-orphan and son of a poor woman, while Éva Cecey is the daughter of a landowner. They are nevertheless playmates. While playing in the woods, the two children are captured by a Turk named Jumurdzsák and have to join a trek of prisoners. Due to the cunning of little Gergely, the two children are able to escape and later also to free the other prisoners. Gergely's mother dies in a raid by the Turks, but the little boy is adopted as a foster son by the rich aristocrat Bálint Török, where he gets a good education.

II. Several years later, Gergely has to experience that Buda is captured by the Turks through deceit and his foster father Bálint Török is led away prisoner. Gergely meets Éva again, who has become a pretty young girl who is also an excellent rider and fighter. Their childhood love revives: they flee together and get married.

III. Gergely, Éva and some friends now plan to free Bálint Török from his prison in Istanbul. They go to the Ottoman city, but despite many adventures, they finally fail in freeing the Hungarian aristocrat.

IV. It is 1552, a force about 200,000 Turks is approaching the little town of Eger, the citadel of which is only defended by 2000 soldiers. István Dobó, captain of the citadel, calls on the troops of the emperor for aid, but no-one arrives. Gergely joins the forces who are preparing to fight in Eger, while leaving Éva home with their little son. Shortly after he has left, a stranger arrives and kidnaps the little boy. Éva realizes that the stranger must have been the Turk Jumurdzsák. She understands that there must be a connection with the siege of Eger, so she masquerades as a man and tries to enter the besieged castle.

V. Even though the forces of the Turks are overwhelming, the Hungarians in Eger are able to defend themselves. Éva finally arrives at Eger. Though the Ottomans attack again and again, the castle stands firm, with also the women of Eger joining in in the battle. Finally, the Ottoman forces withdraw. Gergely's and Éva's little son is exchanged for a Turkish boy who has been captured, and the family is finally reunited.



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