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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Bibó Breviárium

Fortnight 2002, Feature film, 1h09

Synopsis

István Bibó was born in 1911. Jurist and philosopher, he remains one of Hungary’s great 20th century political thinkers. Arrested in October 1944 by the radical fascist organization Arrow Cross, then released, he went into hiding until the end of the siege of Budapest. In 1949, he was suspended from his post as university professor. A minister in 1956, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, then granted an amnesty in 1963. This 13th episode of Péter Forgács’s « Private Hungary » is a fragmentary, obsessional work which draws on found visual archives and interweaves footage on the daily life of the peasants, the bourgeois elite and the life of István Bibó. Poetic in its use of image and soundtrack and its repetition of re-framed, slowed-down, inverted images, it plays with film to relate the reality of the Hungarian nation and the heroism of a man who never renounced his faith in liberty. This story is underscored by Tibor Szemzö’s sad, crystalline music, and by a non-stop voice-over narration relating the human and political crises of the Hungarian nation, in counterpoint with the apparently serene images of gymnastics, somersaults in the grass, and even the splendor of a soap bubble letting off vapors. But a sudden shot of legs dangling in the void creates a sense of dizziness….

Director

Péter Forgács

Born in 1950, Péter Forgács graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. During the 60s he was influenced by conceptual and experimental art and the Hungarian Fluxus movement. In 1983, he founded the Private Film and Photographic Archives Foundation, a unique collection of photos and amateur movies on memory and history in Hungary in the 20th century. Forgács begin working as an independent filmmaker and video artist at the Béla Balázs Studios in 1978. In the 80s, he experimented in various artistic forms such as video installations. His films have won awards in many festivals.

Screenplay
Péter Forgács, adapté des textes d’István Bibó

Image
archives et László Ravasz Jr.

Sound
Zsolt Hubay, Zoltán Regenye, Zoltán Vadon

Editing
Kati Juhász

Music
Tibor Szemzö, Béla Bartók avec la voix de : François Joly (français) et Paul Herrick (anglais)

production : Péter Forgács For-Creation, Mese köz 10, 1021 Budapest, Hongrie tél. / fax : (36 1) 200 76 24 forgax@axelero.hu Nextreme Film (Hongrie)

Title in Original Version : István Bibó, fragments