Movies and music can be a great way to be introduced to a new culture; here are a few of my Hungarian favorites.
by Mariah Rossi, Alumni Scholarship Recipient and MA student in the Department of Economics and Business
I remember when I was moving to Hungary in 2019 and searching for any kind of videos or movies that could get me acquainted with the culture and history, sadly to no avail. It wasn’t until I moved there and was completely immersed in the culture that I could finally begin to piece together its 1000-year-old history. So, for those of you considering moving to Hungary, I am excited to share a couple of my favorite films and music that I wish I had known about before I moved there.
My background is mostly in 20th century history, so the films I recommend all center around that time period. But for Hungarian films I highly recommend the following in chronological order:
- 1945 by Ferenc Török. The drama is about two Holocaust survivors who are returning to their village in Hungary and the village’s reception of them.
- The Witness (A Tanú). By Péter Bacsó, the satire takes place in communist Hungary surrounding József Pelikán’s antics in all of his “assignments”, which results in him becoming a witness in a trial against one of his old friends.
- Freedom’s Fury. By Colin Keith Gray and Megan Rany, the documentary is about the tense water polo match that took place in 1956 between Hungary and Russia, after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
Another great resource for fun Hungarian history is the YouTube Channel “Walking With Willie.” Willie is an American who walks around Hungary and talks about its history and historical figures.
As for Hungarian music I am not the number one expert on this, but I do have a few favorites. Here is a short list of my eclectic music taste:
“Nemzeti Hip-Hop” by Bëlga.
“Álmok kusza kertjeiből” by Misztrál, I would highly recommend going to their concerts.
Domonkos Hartmann is a Hungarian celloist who won the Jan Vychytil International Cello Competition in Prague at just 18 years old. I had the opportunity to see him in concert and would recommend looking out for him if you are interested in classical music.
The must watch rap of “Yozsefváros” by Animal Cannibals, as performed by SNL star Kate McKinnon
I hope these resources get you excited about your move to Hungary, or if you’re already there, that it provides an outsider’s take on looking into Hungarian culture that you can access from your laptop.