Vera & Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Art Documentaries by Péter Forgács
Thirty art documentaries, documentary films and portraits based on archival footage, directed by the Hungarian artist Péter Forgács (b. 1950). Using amateur and home movies from the late 1920s onwards, the fourteen works in the “Private Hungary” series (1988-1997) explore personal and private experiences of major twentieth-century events, including the decline of the Hungarian middle class and aristocracy, the destruction of the Jews, the devastation of the Hungarian Second Army at the River Don, and the absurdities of post-1956 public life under János Kádár. The collection also contains the five-part documentary “Conversations on Psychoanalysis”, as well as films on prominent Hungarian intellectuals and manufacturing families, and a collage-based narration of stories from the Spanish Civil War. Many of the films in this collection were produced at the groundbreaking Béla Balázs Film Studio in Budapest (est. 1959), and feature original scores by the avant-garde composer Tibor Szemző.