Cinematik will shine light on Hungarian cinematography

8. August 2021

Every year, in the section Magnified, the International Film Festival Cinematik Piešťany draws attention to the national cinematography of a selected country in the world, representing not only its variety and diversity but also the intersections or common themes of its most prominent contemporary representatives. The sixteenth year of the festival will focus on the filmmaking of our close neighbor: Hungary. You can look forward to a fine selection of various movie genres, several of the masterpieces will be presented as Slovak openings. The section was assembled by the festival’s long-time collaborator, Hungarian film critic Kata Anna Váró.

Cinematik also found another exceptional personality, to whom the event dedicates this year’s section Respect – the excellent director Ildikó Enyedi. Her filmography presented during Cinematik will include the film On Body and Soul (Teströl és lélekröl, 2017), which received a Golden Bear nomination from Berlinale and an Oscar nomination, as well as the Slovak premiere of The Story of My Wife, presented at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Hungarian filmography is one of the most outstanding, but also the most distinctive in the local cultural space, as we will see for ourselves in less than two months in Piešťany, where the 16th year of the Cinematik festival will take place from 14 to 19 September. In the section called Hungary Magnified, the organizers will focus on the filmmaking of our southern neighbor.

Out of the ten films that will be screened within the section Hungary Magnified, be sure not to miss the drama It’s Not the Time of My Life (Ernelláék Farkaséknál, 2016): Director Szabolcs Hajdu flawlessly captures both the miseries and pleasures of relationships among relatives who find themselves in a cramped apartment for several days. The director himself also starred in the film with his wife and children, winning the Crystal Globe Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF for the best film and an award for acting.

Lovers of genre movies could be interested in the thriller Tall Tales (Apró Mesék, 2019). Director Attila Szász takes us back to 1945. His main character is a fraud who, after escaping from Budapest, establishes a relationship with an enigmatic woman who provides him with a place to hide. In addition to the demons of the past, however, the shadow of her husband who is to come home at any moment is also present. Vica Kerekes starred as one of the main characters in the story.

The Hungary Magnified section will convince you that supercharged crime is far from being the exclusive domain of the Scandinavian countries. In the thriller Valan – Valley of the Angels (Valan – Az angyalok völgye, dir. Béla Bagota, 2019), a young policeman tracing a Romanian gang of sex-traffickers is engaged in an investigation in the middle of Transylvania. It is a delicate and personal situation for him, as this is exactly the place where his own sister once disappeared.

The psychological crime drama Strangled (A martfűi rém, dir. Árpád Sopsits, 2016) is based on real events from the 1960s, when a series of brutal murders shook the Hungarian countryside.

The genre of contemporary Hungarian thriller will be represented at Cinematik by Loop (Hurok, dir. István Madarász, 2016) – an original drama with a sci-fi plot, in which a young drug dealer gets several opportunities to correct a mistake that cost his pregnant girlfriend her life.

And those who like to see what an action western with a trademark of Hungarian filmmakers looks like, should not miss the tense atmosphere of the drama Coyote (Kojot, dir. Márk Kostyál, 2017). The work will convince you that the Wild West may be closer than it might seem.

The film can often serve as a reliable and attentive mirror of society. Now you can learn something about the Hungarian one from the entertaining drama Bad Poems (Rossz versek, 2018) by Gábor Reisz, which is partly an autobiographical story of a filmmaker’s life crisis.

The drama FOMO (dir. Attila Hartung, 2019) reflects the lives of Hungarian teenagers, whose lives are largely made up of social networks and endless parties. The mysterious disappearance of the professor’s young daughter will bring them back to the harsh reality.

For fans of “lighter” genres, the program also includes the original retro comedy Comrade Drakulič (Drakulics elvtárs, dir. Márk Bodzsár, 2019). It reveals the dark secret that real vampires too once lived in communist Hungary.