A semmi orszaga

  • 62'
  • Hungary
  • 1996
Two new films by Péter Forgács from his series Private Hungary. Land of Nothing is about Láslo Rátz, second lieutenant in the Hungarian Second Army. His amateur films formed the basis of this historic mosaic about the army's fight against Soviet troops. The footage mainly dates from 1942; it has preserved kept because Rátz had left the film at home when on Christmas leave. The battle was eventually to lead to the fall of the army and the deaths of 130,000 people in January 1943 by the frozen River Don. Hardship in the army and the everyday activities of friends and relatives are interspersed with political speeches, personal comments and poems.Protagonist in Free Fall is the cameraman György Petö. His private films made during and before World War Two document his family, especially his girlfriend and later wife Eva Lengyel. These films, that were largely shot in the Southern Hungarian city of Szeged, form an extremely cruel historical document. Petö was of Jewish descent. Slowly but surely we see how the anti-Jewish laws and political changes in Hungary gain a stranglehold on the family. Free Fall and Land of Nothing are rhapsodies of found-footage material. Masterfully cut and augmented with other picture material, they are evidence of a terrible period and a plea for human dignity.
Péter Forgács
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1997
Betacam SP PAL
International title
Land of Nothing
Péter Forgács
Péter Forgács
Péter Forgács
Péter Forgács
Tibor Szemzö