István Szőts's film has become a benchmark in Hungarian cinema. Despite the fact that it received a mixed reception in its own time. Having said that, it did win the award for Most Artistic Film at the Venice Film Festival. It is hard to judge, of course, 80 years on, what was considered cinema/an art film at that time. Perhaps the same is true today. It only later became apparent that People of the Mountains was a forerunner of Neo-Realism. The film courageously stepped away from the framework of the studio and star system. It created a new cinematic language.
Even so, István Szőts's work was far from a success story. He was the kind of artist who was uncomfortable with any kind of powerful industry domination. Some of his films irritated for their paganism, others for their closeness to God. But that is largely because Szőts had no interest in serving the demands of the market or political expediency. People of the Mountains does not entirely fit into the stream of entertainment film of the time, while Szőts was also uninterested in providing n...egative depictions of Roma or Jewish people - even if higher powers demanded them. (The Hungarian Chamber for Theatre and Cinema, which was founded in 1939, for example, defined its mission as follows: "Enforcing and ensuring the requirements of the national spirit and Christian morality in the performing arts and cinema." Szőts's 1947 film - Song of the Cornfields - was judged by the new Communist powers-that-be as clerical and populist. It was banned.) This meant that there was little said about the values of this unique film. The dramas of oppressed people, the presentation of solidarity both on the train track and in court, or even of a strange world of faith, which helps preserve community life cut off from modernity. There was also little said of how István Szőts creates drama from images of nature. Or that - thanks to a copy of a painstakingly completed restoration in sound and image - we can now talk about Ferenc Farkas's passionate film score.
In Hungarian, without subtitles.
The discussions before and after the screening will be conducted in Hungarian.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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