‘Son of Saul’ first Hungarian film to win Oscar in 35 years

Analysis

With its selection at last night’s Academy Awards in Hollywood, “Son of Saul” became the first Hungarian film to win an Oscar since István Szabó’s “Mephisto” in 1981.

During his acceptance speech, director László Nemes shared the award with the film’s lead actor Géza Röhrig, who plays tormented sonderkommando Saul at a Nazi death camp and who risks his life to ensure a proper burial for one of the prisoners that is thought to be his son. “Even in the darkest hours of mankind there might be a voice within us that allows us to remain human. That’s the hope of this film,” said Nemes.

Early this morning, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán posted on his Facebook page: “A great day for Hungarian filmmaking. Thank you to everyone.”

The win was also a major victory, and vindication of sorts, for the Hungarian National Film Fund, which was launched in 2011 under the direction of film commissioner Andrew Vajna, a Hungarian who made his name in the United States as the producer of “Terminator”, “Rambo” and scores of other Hollywood films. Critics in the industry have complained that the fund mostly gives financial support to Hungarian films that are commercial in nature, and that it interferes with the creative process, but the fund’s support for “Son of Saul” would seem to indicate that it can back winners that are also very much a part of the art house genre. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Stepping Beyond Hungary’s Borders Analysis

Stepping Beyond Hungary’s Borders

Operative corps for economic recovery decides on further mea... Government

Operative corps for economic recovery decides on further mea...

Healthcare Roadshow Highlights Innovation, Screening Awarene... Interview

Healthcare Roadshow Highlights Innovation, Screening Awarene...

Zsa Zsa Gabor's ashes buried in Budapest City

Zsa Zsa Gabor's ashes buried in Budapest

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.