The film is based on a documentary novel written by Gyula Krúdy in 1931. Krúdy used the infamous story of the Jewish blood libel in Tiszaeszlár, a village in northern Hungary. A young girl, Eszter Solymosi, disappeared in the summer of 1882, and the Jewish inhabitants of the village were accused of having killed her as part of a ritual murder. The writer got material for his book by collecting information from the recollections of the lawyer who represented the Jews who had been accused and from his own memories, rooted in oral tradition, as he grew up near the scene of the events.
The basic framework of the film is the coaching given by an officer in the gendarmerie office to Móric Scharf, who gives false testimony the text of which is identical to the testimony given at the trial. We see versions of the same sequence, each fo which has shifted a little bit in comparison to the previous one as the coaching continues. The filmmaker’s radical gesture is to give the viewer an opportunity to see how the protagonist's mental process develops until it reaches the final state, in which he is able to see the crime. Erdély casted László Rajk, the son of an executed communist leader, for the part of gendarmerie officer Recsky (Rajk’s father was executed by his own communist comrades following a show trial during the period of communist terror in Hungary).
Another key component in Erdély’s film is the way in which he makes the actual materials used in the creation of the film visible. For example, the mental images are shot from the editing table, so they are grainy and obscure comparing to the other scenes. The end credits section is a kind of withdrawal of the provocative images, since the actors stop playing their parts and present themselves as real people, “as civilians,” and doing so somehow negate the fabricated story (and the images of the ritual murder) presented earlier. Upon completion in 1981, the film was banned
Produced by BBS, 1981. Banned until 1989.
La Memorialul Revoluției din Timișoara se găsește maioul cu găuri făcute de gloanțele care l-au ucis pe Lorenț Fecioru și urmele de sânge ale victimei. Acest obiect cu o puternică încărcătură emoțională a fost donat în anul 1999 de mama eroului-martir. Urmele materiale ale morții violente a acestui tânăr sunt un simbol al tuturor tinerilor care, cu inconștiența și curajul caracteristice vârstei, au participat activ la Revoluția din 1989. În același timp, modul în care și-a găsit moartea este relevant pentru represiunea ce a urmat în zilele imediat următoare declanșării revoltei populare din Timișoara. Alături de alte peste 1.000 de persoane, Lorenț Fecioru este un martir al evenimentelor sângeroase ce au dus la schimbarea de regim din 1989 și unul dintre cei cărora toți românii le datorează libertatea de care se bucură astăzi. Păstrarea memoriei curajului lor este o datorie civică a tuturor cetățenilor români, pe care Memorialul de la Timișoara și-a asumat-o pentru a o putea transmite și generațiilor care nu au trăit Revoluția din 1989.
Lorenț Fecioru a fost unul dintre cei care, alături de poetul Ion Monoran, au participat la oprirea tramvaielor din Piața Maria în data de 16 decembrie. El a murit în noaptea de 17 spre 18 decembrie din cauza unui glonț tras de un lunetist direct în inimă. În documentele publice care au urmat Revoluției din decembrie 1989 a fost menționat inițial detaliul că Lorenț Fecioru ar fi fost împușcat pe treptele Catedralei din Timișoara. Faptele stau, în realitate, altfel, chiar dacă ele au fost la fel de tragice. Fiul cel mic al lui Lorenț Fecioru a relatat, pentru un cotidian central, la două decenii după consumarea acestei tragedii, ceea ce s-a întâmplat cu tatăl său: ”Tatăl meu a fost împuşcat de un lunetist în noaptea de 17-18 decembrie. În dosarul de la Securitate au fost găsite poze luate din timpul zilei, când tatăl meu şi nişte colegi de-ai lui de muncă au ieşit în stradă şi s-au urcat pe tramvaie, autobuze. Am înţeles că în dosar era scris ’misiune îndeplinită.’ El era pe balcon cu prietenii lui în acea seară, spunându-le că a văzut când fotograful le-a făcut poze şi că îi este frică să iasă pe balcon. În momentul când a ieşit pe balcon a fost împuşcat. Am văzut glonţul care l-a omorât, pentru că a fost împuşcat în inimă şi glonţul a ieşit prin spate, a ricoşat în doi pereţi din casă. Prietenii lui l-au dus la morgă şi ’norocul’ a fost că i-au găsit un sicriu, altfel ar fi fost ars ca alţii.“ Versiunea aceasta este confirmată și de către cercetătorii de la Memorialul Revoluției. Gino Rado, vicepreședintele Memorialului, menționează că Lorenț Fecioru se afla pe balcon la el acasă, în zona Calea Șagului din Timișoara, atunci când a fost împușcat mortal. Maioul donat de familia eroului-martir Lorenț Fecioru se află la același nivel al parterului clădirii Memorialului Revoluției din Timișoara, foarte aproape de colțul dedicat fetiței-martir Cristina Lungu.
- Timișoara, Romania
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Video interview with Embiya Çavuş, an artist working with ceramics, painter and Bulgarian dissident. Now he lives in Izmir.
Embiya Çavuş was born in 1926 in the village Todor Ikonomovо (former name Mahmuzlii, Turkish Mahmuzlu), Shumen district in Bulgaria. He and five of his friends established the secret “Organisation of Defending Turkish Existence and Personality”. Accused of creating a secret Turkish organization and espionage in favor of Turkey, Çavuş was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent sixteen years, from 1947 to 1961, in different prisons and in the forced labor camp in Belene (1949–1956). However, in 1961 he was conditionally released. In 1964, after an amnesty law was passed, Çavuş was granted amnesty. In 1965 Çavuş began to work as a porcelain expert in a porcelain factory in the small town of Novi Pazar, Bulgaria. As a porcelain artist, he visited Poland in 1974 and the USSR in the years of 1976, 1977. In 1978, in the framework of an emigration agreement between Bulgaria and Turkey, Embiya Çavuş moved to Turkey and settled in Izmir.
Embiya Çavuş has double citizenship, Bulgarian and Turkish.
The second issue of the magazine Viks, entitled “Homosexuality and Culture,” came out on April 24, 1984, the opening day of the Magnus Film Festival, the first cultural manifestation dedicated to homosexuality in any socialist country. The magazine was edited by a group of gays and lesbians who gathered around the youth cultural center ŠKUC and organized the festival. This special edition of the magazine was printed in 600 copies and handed to audiences at the festival. It contains 42 pages, and approximately 20 illustrations with contemporary, easily recognizable European gay subcultural motifs. Over the three following decades, this issue of Viks gained a cult status in Slovenian and the post-Yugoslav LGBT community, and was exhibited at events dedicated to the history of homosexuality and the LGBT movement.
Alongside the festival’s program and a schedule of affiliated cultural and club events, in an effort to appeal to the younger generation of Ljubljana’s gays, lesbians and artists, Viks also carried several lengthy programmatic articles and interviews with emancipatory, educational and mobilizing overtones. Thus it aligned itself politically and theoretically with contemporary liberationist, leftist and counter-cultural movements in Slovenia and Western Europe. These texts promote an ideal of freely and openly lived (homo)sexuality. Non-normative sexual practices were viewed as strongly dissident in nature, but not so much against socialism as against patriarchal and traditional forms of sexual and family life.
The article “Pink Love under the Red Stars – Homosexuality under Real Socialism” (“Roza ljubezen pod rdečimi zvezdami – homoseksualizem pod realnim socializmom,” pp. 18-21) delivers a historical overview of the legal and social status of same-sex sexual and emotional relationships in socialist countries. The anonymous author is equally critical of the 20th century discrimination of homosexuality both in western liberal democracies and socialist countries. However, the Stalinist period in the USSR was seen as especially brutal and arduous insofar as it attributed negative political meanings to homosexuality, declaring homosexuals “traitors,” foreign “spies,” decadent bourgeoisie, and enemies of socialism. Soviet homosexuals, the article suggests, were not able to recover from this traumatic period, and were still unable to engage with emancipatory social movements and practices. At the same time, the example of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, known also as East Germany) is held as an example of both positive changes in communist stance on homosexuality, and a way in which, since the late 1970s, a dialogue could take place between the government and gay and lesbian groups.
The Croatian State Security Service's operational data from the mid-1950s contain descriptions of the connections of Djilas supporters in Zagreb (the group around the banned weekly newspaper Naprijed) to the brothers Stevan and Vladimir Dedijer. Vladimir was editor-in-chief of the newspaper Borba at the time of publication of the Djilas articles. After a suspended year and a half sentence, he withdrew from political life and in 1955 emigrated to the United States. From 1950 to 1957, Stevan was director of the Nuclear Research Institute in Belgrade and the Rudjer Bošković Institute in Zagreb. Because of his public criticism of the Yugoslav nuclear programme, he was expelled from the Rudjer Bošković Institute, and in 1961 managed to emigrate to Sweden.
The documents in the Croatian State Security Service's file on the Djilas case and Djilas supporters in Croatia include a transcript of Vladimir Dedijer's open letter to Josip Broz Tito. Dedijer protested against the prosecution and arrest of Milovan Djilas due to an interview in which he criticised the neutral position of Yugoslavia on the Soviet army’s intervention in Hungary, which he saw as tacit support for that action. He was arrested on 19 November, and on 12 December 1956 convicted to 3 years of strict imprisonment for “anti-Yugoslav activities.ˮ Dedijer wrote, inter alia, that he is not defending Milovan Djilas as his personal friend, but rather because he has to stay “consistent in his conviction that they have to promote more democratic and humane forms” in Yugoslav society, that he cannot act against his conscience, defending in this way his personal integrity as a writer and intellectual.
The document is available for research and copying.
- Zagreb Trg Marka Marulića 21, Croatia 10000
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