National Motives

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National Motives
video HD
28 min

National Motives is a nocturnal cruising in Budapest through sites, monuments and other ghosts of the redefined Hungarian national identity after the breakdown of the communist era and the recent raise of ultra-nationalism. The film was shot in the winter 2007-2008, one year after the ultra nationalist riots and demonstrations of October 2006, before the growth of the far-right party Jobbik and conservative Fidesz Party in the Hungarian parliamentary election of 2010. Beggars singing in a train station, Romas recycling old furniture, spotlights shutting on and off on emblematic monuments, flags’ shadows, sculptures of historical figures shot in the dark, real estate building sites, the Budapest stock exchange, the former flat and office of the philosopher György Lukács, shouting in a far-right demonstration, vernacular modernist worker housings and antic ruins left visible in undergrounds of a former communist block housing district. The film’s assemblage of sites, figures, micro events and sounds aims to create a disruptive portrait of the city of Budapest which mirrors the actual state of financial and national crisis in its public spaces. What happens when the staged lighting of national monuments is turned off? The cruising modifies the cartography of the city, revealing forgotten figures, transforming national identities into hybrid monsters.

Premiere at Berlinale Forum Expanded 2011


With support of the residency program Mairie de Paris / Culturesfrance / Budapest Galeria

Language of Production




Production Location

Hungary, France
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