Published: July 25 2023
Hungary is an intriguing country with a rich history and a unique legacy. Cinema, both from Hungary and international productions, has often found inspiration in this Central European scenery. Here we dive into some renowned movies that not just depict Hungary but often have garnered significant global accolades.
Directed by Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr, "The Turin Horse" is a philosophical exploration of rural life in Hungary. A stark representation of life and human existence, this movie offers hard-hitting visuals rooted in the Hungarian soil that cinephiles often find captivating.
Ralph Fiennes leads the cast in this absorbing drama "Sunshine" that tells the tale of a Jewish family living in Hungary through several generations. From the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy period to the post-communist era, director István Szabó seamlessly intertwines Hungarian history with human resilience.
László Nemes' directorial debut, "Son of Saul" is a gripping representation of the Holocaust from a Hungarian Jew's perspective. Winning the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, "Son of Saul" presents a harrowing portrayal of a concentration camp inmate's struggle for dignity amidst horrific circumstances.
While not entirely set in Hungary, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" showcases key scenes set during the Cold War in Budapest. A compelling adaptation of John Le Carré's classic espionage novel, Budapest's distinctive character brings added intrigue to the plot.
"Kontroll" presents a surreal encounter of ticket inspectors in the Budapest metro system. Director Nimród Antal aptly uses the Budapest underground as a metaphor for societal alienation, creating a blend of comedy, magic-realist drama, and crime thriller.
"1945", set in a Hungarian village at the end of World War II, is a deep, absorbing tale about guilt, retribution, and unresolved past. Ferenc Török acutely captures post-World War II society battling the specter of their actions during the Holocaust.
Blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, "Jupiter's Moon" is a biting political satire interwoven with elements of magical realism. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, the movie uses Hungary's refugee crisis as a backdrop to discuss contemporary political issues.
Another critically acclaimed movie by Kornél Mundruczó, "White God" is a stirring tale of a mixed-breed dog rejected and hunted by society, drawing an allegorical portrayal of racial and ethnic prejudice.
Each of these movies provides unique glimpses into Hungary's historical events and contemporary issues. Their camera lens captures not only scenic Hungarian landscapes but also its cultural, social, and political ethos. Open your popcorn box, and get ready for a memorable cinematic journey through Hungary!