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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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Growing Up, Film School and 1956

Growing Up, Film School and 1956

(p.15) Chapter Two Growing Up, Film School and 1956
The Cinema of István Szabó

John Cunningham

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes Hungarian director István Szabó's early years, his enrollment in a film school, and how the 1956 Hungarian Revolution affected his life and career trajectory. Szabó's childhood was spent living through some of the darkest days in twentieth-century Hungary. The end of World War II promised change and initially there were signs that Hungary might follow something like the leftist social democratic path of Sweden or post-war Britain. Hungary fell under the control of the Soviet Union and became part of the “Eastern Bloc.” For Szabó, the opportunity to act in a school drama sparked an interest in the theater and offered a different vision of what his future might be, possibly directing or writing for the stage. He successfully applied for a place on the Film Directing course at the Budapest Academy of Drama and Film for the 1956 intake, joining the class of Félix Mariássy. Szabó graduated from the Academy in 1961.

Keywords:   film directing, István Szabó, Hungarian Revolution, childhood, Hungary, World War II, Soviet Union, theater, Budapest Academy of Drama and Film, Félix Mariássy

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