Hungarian film shines light on Roma persecution

Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:57pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Sarah Marsh

BERLIN (Reuters) - A non-professional cast of Roma actors portray a family struggling to survive in "Just the Wind," a gritty drama inspired by real-life attacks against Hungary's Roma community which premieres on Thursday at the Berlin Film Festival.

The film, by Hungarian director Bence Fliegauf, depicts a family living in a shack in a wood where several other Roma families have already been gunned down.

Shaky close-ups create an atmosphere of fearful entrapment and the characters rarely talk, remaining tight-lipped and steely-faced in the face of the omnipresent threat.

Fliegauf says he was compelled to make the movie after a series of attacks between 2008 and 2009 on the Roma community involving Molotov cocktails, shotguns and rifles.

"I was shocked by the events, I remember waking up in my sleep with nightmares, I saw shotgun flashes." he told Reuters.

"Of course I hope this movie is going to make a difference."

Fliegauf grew up with Roma friends and had a Roma girlfriend as a teenager, but then lost touch with the community.

He says it was only during his year of research for the film that he realized how difficult their plight had become since the fall of communism some two decades ago.   Continued...

Director Bence Fliegauf (C) poses with cast members Katalin Toldi, Lajos Sarkany and Gyoengyi Lendwa (L-R) during a photocall to promote the movie "Csak a Szel" (Just the Wind) at the 62nd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 16, 2012. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen