The invention of prestige: people on the mountain and the politics of the national

Gergely, Gabor (2017) The invention of prestige: people on the mountain and the politics of the national. Slavonica . ISSN 1361-7427

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Abstract

People on the Mountain (Szőts, 1941) enjoys special standing in Hungarian film historiography: critics have hailed its use of real locations, deep humanity and sympathy for the downtrodden, and saw in it a precursor of Italian neorealism.
This article argues that celebrations of the film’s humanity and claims of its position apart from the ideologically inflected films of the period are misplaced, and that such critical readings are simply not justified by the historical context.
The article shows that People on the Mountain is the product of a state-controlled film industry, and that claims of the film’s kinship with neorealism are greatly overstated. The article further shows that contrary to accounts of unfavourable official reception, the film was very well received by industry bosses and state officials. Finally it argues that People on the Mountain makes use of a radical nationalist discourse which claimed for Hungarians precedence in Transylvania.

Keywords:Hungarian cinema, nationalism, anti-Semitism, István Sz?ts, István Nemeskürty, bmjdoi
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Film)
ID Code:22766
Deposited On:07 Apr 2016 15:35

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