University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Europe East and West: Film, History, and Mourning > Film Screening: "The Danube Exodus" (dir. Peter Forgacs, 1998)

Film Screening: "The Danube Exodus" (dir. Peter Forgacs, 1998)

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The Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács is one of the most prominent so-called found footage filmmakers. In particular home movies and amateur films serve as the basis of stories he reveals and compose by using recovered personal and historical events.

He is primarily interested in the way in which these films seem to depict only happy moments, but on closer consideration they also appear to tell a hidden history, which can be brought back to the surface by the recycling filmmaker.

In the travelogue The Danube Exodus, he documents the Jewish exodus from Slovakia just before the beginning of World War II. In two boats, a group of nine hundred Slovak, Austrian Jews tried to reach the Black Sea via the river Danube, in order to get to Palestine from there. Forgács based his film on the amateur films of Captain Nándor Andrásovits, the captain of one of the boats.

He filmed his passengers while they prayed, slept and even got married. At the end of this journey, it is clear that the boat will not return empty: a reverse exodus takes place, this time of repatriating Bessarabian Germans, fleeing to the Third Reich because of the Soviet invasion of Bessarabia . . .

This talk is part of the Europe East and West: Film, History, and Mourning series.

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