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Top 5 Archive-Based Films Selected by the Expert

In this first part of a new serie, where we search for the best archive-based films, Krisztina Tajta of the National Audiovisual Archive in Hungary tells the story behind her top 5 archive-based films.

1. Films by the Hungarian filmmaker Peter Forgacs; “Danube Exodus” & “Private Hungary”

In Danube Exodus”, Peter Forgacs documents the Jewish exodus from Slovakia just before the beginning of World War II. In two boats, a group of nine hundred Slovak, Austrian Jews tried to reach the Black Sea via the river Danube, in order to get to Palestine from there. Forgács based his film on the amateur films of Captain Nándor Andrásovits, the captain of one of the boats. “Private Hungary” is a series based on home amateur videos filmed from the 1930’s. 

2.The black and white film “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

This films uses original black and white archival footage about the revolutionary days in Prague 1968, mixed with fictional black and white records. Showing the main characters of the film.

3. The Hungarian documentary Film “The Face of the Revolution – In Search of a Budapest Girl”

A forradalom arca – Egy pesti lány nyomában” or in English “The Face of the Revolution – In Search of a Budapest Girl” is a film about the November 10th, issue of Paris Match in 1956, which featured a report on the Hungarian revolution. The special coverage opened with a photograph taken on October 30, on Budapest Múzeum Boulevard. Forty-five years later, Hungarian historian Eszter Balázs and French journalist Phil Casoar decided to trace down the young couple seen in the picture. Who are they? Have they survived the revolution? If yes, is it possible to find them after all these years? The film follows their search for answers.

4. Yael Hersonski’s “A Film Unfinished”

The film explores the history of secret Nazi propaganda footage about the Warsaw Ghetto. Interestingly the film shows how a young documentary filmmaker finds the unfinished tapes and creates a documentary film with and about it.

5. Films by Neill Blomkamp “District 9” & “Alive in Joburg”

The combination of using fictional interviews and real news footage in Neill Blomkamp‘s films.