The new twenty-forint banknote featuring György Dózsa was introduced in 1948. We are reminded of Gyula Derkovits' depiction of the rebel leader, as well as of the film Sound Eroticism where the banknote is used as a prop. Ironically, there was an endless list of items named after Dózsa from Socialist cooperatives to cigars. What all this has to do with the peasant leader though, no one can really say. Yet, at the time of the film, the attacks levelled at Judgement - as well as its screenpl...ay - focused more on the Csoóri-Kósa-Sára director trio than anything else. And perhaps on whether imagery used by the party could be appropriated for alternative purposes.
Ferenc Kósa's film about György Dózsa sailed close to the winds of heresy in a country riddled with Dózsa statue, and where the Isaszeg March to commemorate the leader's victory over the Austrians was played at any opportunity. This is the nature of power, especially when it searches for legitimacy in history it manufactures through Orwellian clichés. Judgement decides to use Dózsa not as a sacred icon, instead presenting him as a historical personality forced to make a moral decision under extreme circumstances. It is unsurprising that many people consider this a cult-film and compare many of the characters with key historical figures. In this context, Judgement shares many of the common traits with Miklós Jancsó's films of the same era, which explored the questions of power, freedom, revolution, and fanaticism. Despite being a truly Hungarian film, Judgement and its makers received considerable attention abroad, though not many were able to place the film. Not only because György Dózsa was an unknown figure to audiences, but also because they easily became lost in the obscure labyrinth of totalitarian concepts and iconography. Yet as a contemplation of ideas and symbolism, the validity of Judgement is eternal.
The series is made possible by the Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute (MaNDA)
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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