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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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New Europe, New Hungary, New Problems:

New Europe, New Hungary, New Problems:

Meeting Venus and Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe (Édes Emma, drága Böbe)

(p.83) Chapter Six New Europe, New Hungary, New Problems:
The Cinema of István Szabó

John Cunningham

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the films Meeting Venus (1991) and Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe (Édes Emma, drága Böbe, 1992), both directed by István Szabó. In the 1990s there was much talk in Hungary and in the other countries of the former Eastern Bloc about “joining Europe,” which of course actually meant joining the European Union, as if this would somehow be the final episode in an untroubled, seamless transition from Hungary's homespun and very much watered-down version of Stalinism to a full-blooded embrace of free-market capitalism. The “new” Europe did not usher in some new dawn of utopian bliss and prosperity; instead it brought its own set of different problems. Both Meeting Venus and Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe demonstrate a keen awareness of the pitfalls awaiting Hungarians (and others) in the “New Europe,” the changes within Hungary, and the fresh brutalities of the so-called free market and its consequences, side effects and spin-offs.

Keywords:   film, Meeting Venus, Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe, István Szabó, Hungary, European Union, capitalism, New Europe, free market

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