Fliegauf goes back to his roots
by Boyd van Hoeij
- A rural thriller set against a backdrop of racism in which a Gypsy family from the great plains is being pursued by killers. Jury Grand Prix at the Berlinale and finalist for the LUX Prize 2012.
Hungarian director Benedek 'Bence' Fliegauf presented his latest film, Just The Wind [+see also:
interview: Bence Fliegauf
film profile], finalist for the 2012 European Parliament 'LUX Prize', in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, which continues through the weekend.
After his English-language Locarno competition title Womb [+see also:
film profile], with Eva Green and Matt Smith, Fliegauf returned to his native country for a film not only in Hungarian but also inspired by actual events that plagued the country in 2008-2009, when several Romany-community families were the victims of violent attacks.
To tell his story, Fliegauf choses a narrow timeframe of just one day, starting at sunrise when the mother of one of the families (Katalin Toldi), gets up and wakes her two children, the teenage girl Anna (Gyongyi Lendvai) and her younger sibling, Rio (Lajos Sarkany), who doesn’t take school as serious as his older sister. Their family is completed by grandfather Tomi (Gyorgy Toldi), who has suffered a stroke.
Throughout the day, all three encounter casual racism directed at their own community, be it at work, at school or on the streets in an overheard conversation between two policemen. The film gives a good idea of how ingrained in popular opinion the hate of Romanies has become in Hungary that no one, perhaps not even those affected, think it strange.
But this attitude and its verbal expression can lead to more serious physical problems, and the violence that awaits the end of the day has already been announced in a title card at the start of the film, adding a continuous sense of dread that is further reinforces by the spare musical and close-to-the-characters camerawork. In its technical approach, the film is very much reminiscent of Fliegauf’s breakout film, Dealer.
Inforg-M&M Film from Budapest produced the picture, in co-production with The Post Republic from Germany and Paprika Films from France and backing from Eurimages and Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung. Cologne-based Match Factoryis its international sales agent.