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The Cinema of István SzabóVisions of Europe$
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John Cunningham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171991

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171991.001.0001

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Born into the Storm

Born into the Storm

(p.5) Chapter One Born into the Storm
The Cinema of István Szabó

John Cunningham

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes the conditions under which Hungarian director István Szabó was born. The history depicted in Szabó's films is also the history that has shaped Central Europe as we find it today and, indeed, much of the rest of Europe. Central Europe was the place where World War II started; it was also the site of much of the Holocaust and of the various tensions of the Cold War, not least the anti-Soviet explosion in Hungary in 1956. That turbulent history struck down many millions; for the most part in Central Europe these were the “other”: the Jews, the dispossessed, the minorities, and the weak. Szabó was born on February 18, 1938, in Budapest, when the war clouds were already forming over Europe. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Szabó managed to survive some of the most terrible events in recorded human history, despite being thrust into the hell of war and the Holocaust at a very early age.

Keywords:   history, Hungary, István Szabó, Central Europe, World War II, Holocaust, Cold War, Jews, Budapest

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