For the second year straight, a Hungarian film-maker has won the Jury Grand Prix at the Berlin International Film Festival. Just last year Hungarian national treasure, Bela Tarr, won for his latest art-house film The Turin Horse. This year sees Bence Fliegauf win for his searing drama Just The Wind (Csak a Szél).
The film looks at a fictionalized version of the targeting and murder of six Roma in the Hungarian country-side in 2008. Focusing on one family, and the ethnic Hungarians around them, critics cite Just The Wind’s minimalistic story-telling, tense close-up shots, and sound artistry as highlights of the lauded film.
Film blog bfi.org.uk states, “For me, it was the build-up of unease that made the film really special, with the sound design…sometimes using the almost subliminal tremor of a string instrument to create tension.”
Quoting The Hollywood Reporter, “Fliegauf mixes the foreboding backstory of one with the handheld, documentary intensity of the other to create an atmosphere that’s consistently menacing and strikingly realistic.”
Variety says, “Creating an atmosphere of mounting threat without ever resorting to histrionics, this spare, naturalistic drama centers on a Romany family from an isolated village where five other such families were gunned down in their own homes. At a time when Hungarian politics are taking an increasingly nationalistic turn, the pic’s frank acknowledgment of the country’s entrenched racism appears especially brave.”
Just the Wind sees Fliegauf’s return to his native Hungary, after making a foray into English language film-making with the sci-fi drama Womb. At just 37 years of age, Fliegauf has been a star on the local scene since making his debut in 2003 with Forest (Rengeteg). The writer/director teamed with long-time partners Inforg-M&M Film for the film, which insiders are tipping as an Oscar contender for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s competition. Congratulations for this hard-won achievement, one that will bring attention to a complex social problem as well as to film-making in Hungary.
Below, find the trailer for Fliegauf’s previous film, Womb.
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