1. This paper was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. [return to text]

2. According to the 1995 study by the Institut für die Wissenschaften von Menschen (IWM) and the 1997 study by Meridán, the Hungarian population felt most disappointed by the democratic cgange [diction. Correct word?] from all post-communist Eastern-European countries.

3. Among other awards, in 2004 the film won the Prix de la Jeunesse in Cannes, the Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival for the best film.

4. In the summer of 2013 I had the chance to show the film to a group of Polish and Hungarian secondary school students, and later discuss it with them. My experience was that both Polish and Hungarian teenagers recognized the film and its typical situations as their own: they saw Kontroll as an Eastern-European film about local issues. Moreover, the questions regarding the human subject and one’s relation to power often evoked multigenerational collective memories, which gave a unique, sombre overtone to the otherwise comic situations.

5. “Amikor a mélység visszanéz rád: a posztkommunista tér jellemzoi Antal Nimród Kontroll címu filmjében.” KULTer, 2013/11.

6. Reading the Hungarian press in 2014 seems to prove Paul de Man’s dictum in Allegories of Reading “Metaphors are much more tenacious than facts” (5). 25 years after the democratic change the Hungarian opposition claims that the government oppresses and exploits the people in a degrading and shameful way, while the government in turn claims that it is the alliance of the EU and multinational corporations that does this to the Hungarian people. Degrading oppression seems to be a constant key metaphor in Hungarian political thinking as well as in the film Kontroll.

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