Gergely Gulyás spoke about how if we value our past, then film is one of the most important means of presenting it. He continued by saying that it’s a different question how far back in time one can go.
The presence of Soviet troops in Hungary was of course illegal. The Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, which ended the war, required them to be withdrawn from our country, and although the treaty allowed for the necessary number of soldiers to remain here to ‘maintain the lines of supply’, there were obviously many more than that. The ‘legalisation’ of the presence of the Soviet forces that crushed the 1956 revolution was carried out by the new, collaborationist Kádár government in 1957.
The events of the 1990s are becoming part of history everywhere, including in Hungarian politics. It has been a quarter century since Viktor Orbán formed his first administration in 1998, which was then followed by four more after 2010.
We celebrated the thirty-third anniversary of the formation of the freely elected Hungarian National Assembly on 2 May. The question is, however, whether we should still celebrate it, since the bitter memories of recent times have now thoroughly overshadowed the initial euphoria of the regime change.
Blokád was not only popular on Netflix, but was also successful in cinemas and became the most watched Hungarian drama film of the year in 2022, earning nearly 99 million forints in cinemas. Some 58,000 people bought tickets for it, and it was shown in cinemas for 22 weeks.
The Orbán administration has committed to spending at least two per cent of the country’s GDP on defence by the end of 2024, a commitment made in 2014 by all NATO members but something many NATO countries have not yet honoured. Hungary, in fact, is set to achieve the two per cent threshold by the end of this year, before the deadline.