The Balassi Institute - Hungarian Cultural Center presents the film screening Promised Lands: The Immigrant Experience and the Artist's Gaze
Date And Venue: 7:30pm, 19 June, 2012 Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Avenue (At 2nd St.) New York City
The Program: Ah, Amerika! by István Orosz and Hunky Blues by Péter Forgács
The screening is part of the days of Central Europe in New York event series.
Dear Friends, the film you are about to see is almost thirty years old. I originally wrote a script at the beginning of the 1980s based on a poem by Hungarian poet Mihaly Babits titled Moving Picture. The poem included the lines “Ah, America, all life lodges there across the sea, Ah, to America, why I cannot travel thither with thee”. After a series of eventually discarded versions and initially promising starts, this plan grew into something we called an “animated documentary myth”. The materials were collected and woven into a movie with my friend Ferenc Daniel. Whenever actual archival materials ran out, whether of the written, hand-drawn, photographed or celluloid kind, animation stepped in, representing at times fiction about and at times reconstructions of the subject matter. The film presented an interpretation about the early 20th century migration of our compatriots, but as it was being made and shown, both creators and audiences reminisced about the newer waves of migration since the 1950s. It may sound unusal today, but while we were working on the film, we never thought of travelling to the United States. That we should meet actual immigrants, see the actual locations. Given the circumstances, such plans would have been out of the question. It is a strange twist of events that while you are listening to these sentences of mine, I am on a plane over the Americas, perhaps right over New York City, headed to Mexico. I would like to extend to you a warm welcome from up there and wish you a pleasant experience tonight.