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Filming in Hungary: Blog

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Soulful Win in Berlin: Hungarian film takes home the Golden Bear

zita kisgergely

While we are seeing more and more big budget productions from all around the world make their way to Budapest, it is also gratifying to see the local film culture thrive creatively, and get recognition beyond our borders. Recently, there was the short “Sing,” which will see how it fares with Academy voters on Sunday’s Oscars, but closer to home Hungary saw a win with Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi winning the Golden Bear for her film On Body and Soul at Berlin International Film Festival. This marks a return to the spotlight for the director, who won the Cannes Camera d’Or prize for first feature way back in 1989 for her debut My Twentieth Century.

By all accounts On Body and Soul was an underdog, but the ‘dramedy’ wowed audiences and judges with its sensitive treatment of two slaughterhouse employees who are comically/tragically drawn to each. The synopsis, as per Cineruopa is: "What would happen if you met someone who dreamt the same as you or, to be more precise, had been meeting you in the same world every night for years? Would you be pleased? Or would you feel that you had been in some way robbed? And what if this specific individual didn’t exactly appeal to you? What if you actually hated that person?" These are all good questions, and apparently the judges were pleased with the answers, as the film also picked up three other awards from Berlin's independent juries, including best film honors from FIPRESCI, the association of international film critics.

Critics also responded well to the pic. The Hollywood Reporter called the movie “quirky, deadpan and sometimes rather brutal,” while Daily Variety said the film “blends mournfully poetic whimsy with stabs of visceral brute reality.” Both sources hesitate to say that this particular film, with rather explicit and brutal scenes from the daily workings of an abattoir, will have the success of a Son of Saul, but are hopeful it will get a broader international audience after festival wins. We can only hope so as well, and send huge congratulations to the film and its creators.

photo of Ildikó Eyedi via berlinale.de

photo of Ildikó Eyedi via berlinale.de

Flatpack Films is based in Budapest, Hungary. We are a film company that offers an inspiring and professional work atmosphere for our local and international clients. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast, and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we facilitate, we do to highest standard possible.