Festival of German, Austrian & Swiss Films in Budapest

From 26 September to 6 October, 2019, the SZEMREVALÓ/EYEFUL Festival is back for the 8th time, sponsored jointly by the Embassy of Switzerland, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Goethe Institute. They are bringing to Budapest’s Művész Cinema the best of new films from German-speaking lands, including a number of prize-winners. Many of the films can be watched with English subtitles.

In Elena Tikhonova’s Kaviar only a crazy oligarch could think of building a lavish Florence-style palace on a central bridge in the heart of Vienna. But his interpreter, Nadia, together with her best friend and her nanny have a just as crazy sabotage plan. Who will succeed in this extremely funny culture-clash-gangster-comedy? It will be screened on 27 September at 8.30 PM and on 2 October at 6 PM.

The Ground Beneath my Feet (Talajt vesztve) is about Lola, who controls her personal life with the same ruthless efficiency she uses to optimize profits in her job as a business consultant. But when a tragic event forces the past back into her life, Lola’s grip on reality seems to slips away. The audience can watch this dark drama on 28 September 6.30 PM and on 2 October at 6 PM.

On 29 September at 8.30 PM the audience can watch Austrian director, Markus Schleinzer’s Angelo that is based on a true story. It tells the story of Angelo Soliman. In early 18th century an African slave boy is chosen by a European Comtesse to be baptized and educated. Reaching adulthood, Angelo achieves prominence and becomes the Viennese court mascot until he decides to secretly marry a white woman. The film won 3 prizes this year on the Austrian Film Award.

In Bicska Maxi against many odds, Bertolt Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera” became a phenomenal success. The film industry picks up the scent and seeks to make the master direct a film version of his “play with music”. Brecht though refuses to play by their rules. While the studio wants to censor the “filth” and tuck at the heart strings to cash in on the success, the author wants to make nothing less than a completely new kind of film.

A socialist critique on capitalism, staged as a conflict between Mack the Knife, a London gangster, and Peachum, the head of the beggars’ mafia. And Brecht does not bow down; he takes the producers to court in order to prove that the moneyed interests are prevailing over his right as an author – and the right of the audience. Provocative, outrageously colourful and merging fact with the fictional and the visionary, Brecht’s “true” threepenny film comes to life before the author’s eyes. A film that was never made. An artist who challenges the industry and audience alike. A poet directing reality. That has never happened before. This outstanding piece of art will be screened on 1 October at 8 PM and on 6 October at 8.30 PM.

Tobis Film, Petro Domenigg

Finally, The Tobacconist (Trafikos) is based on the international bestseller by Robert Seethaler. Nikolaus Leytner’s movie is a tender, heart-breaking story about one young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna. Sigmund Freud is played by Bruno Ganz, it was one of his last roles. There will be two screenings with English subtitles of this magnificent drama. The audience can watch it on 4 October at 7 PM and on 6 October at 8 PM.