Women, politics and history in Mészáros’ Hope
by Fabien Lemercier
Two years after winning a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement at the Berlinale, Hungarian filmmaker Márta Mészáros is currently working on the post-production of her new feature, Hope.
In the same vein as her recent films – including her latest work The Unburied Man – the director focuses on a historical figure, in this case the politician Anna Kéthly. The cast includes Enikö Eszenyi (Overnight [+see also:
film profile]), Ernõ Fekete (Lora: A Story About Love), Zsuzsa Czinkóczi (who regularly appears in Mészáros‘ films) and Polish actress Beata Fudalej (Saviour Square [+see also:
Co-written by Mészáros (Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 1984, Silver Bear in 1975 and 1987 at Berlin, where she was also selected in competition in 1994) and her usual collaborator Éva Pataki, Hope tells the exceptional story of Kéthly (Enikö Eszenyi), a social democrat who fought all her life against dictatorship – whether fascist or communist – and went into exile after the failure of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. In the 1970s, a young secret agent from Budapest paid her a visit in order to encourage her to return home, trying perhaps to discredit her.
The film explores the political and moral struggle at the centre of their unusual love affair. Kéthly – who also developed strong ties with Israel’s Golda Meir (Beata Fudalej) – chose to die far from her homeland.
Produced by Pal Sandor for Hunnia Filmstúdió, Hope should be ready for release in May. The film has a budget of around €1m, including support from the Hungarian Culture Ministry, the MMKA (Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary), the National Cultural Fund and the Táncsics Foundation.
Having kicked off last October, shooting wrapped up in January in Budapest with director Miklós Jancsó acting as consultant. Domestic distribution and international sales are currently under negotiation.
(Translated from French)
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