Bánk Bán (Bánk bán)

(2002, feature, 35mm, color, 116 minutes)
First feature

1213. The Meranian countrymen of Queen Gertrud are absorbed in revelry in the royal castle, observed from the background by diseffected Hungarian nobles, who under the leadership of a ban (a warden of the southern marches of Hungary), Ban Petur, are planning a conspiracy. Ban Bánk, the vice-regent of the king, who is away traversing the country fighting distant battles, has in the meantime left his beautiful wife Melinda at the court. The anger of the nobles is further intensified when they are witness to the ever more open harrassment Melinda must suffer at the hands of Ottó, the fettish younger brother of the queen. Petur, the leader of the consprirators, secretly recalls Bánk, who reacts indignantly to this and accuses the disaffected nobles of high treason. Ottó’s confident, the ”sly and untrustworthy” Biberach, who is a knight, reveals to Bánk that the prince is attempting to entice Melinda. Spurred on by the queen Ottó prepares for battle. He pursues Bánk’s lady-wife around the cloisters and chapels of the castle, and though spurning his offers of love with derision, Melinda nevertheless finds herself placed in an ambiguous situation. Bánk, who just at this moment is spying on the two, is outraged by what he sees: it seems that his loving spouse could have been unfaithful after all… The film roles are filled by the greatest European and world famous Hungarian opera stars of our time. The film’s director and Academy Award Winner cinematographer found the common denominator between a romantic opera and a story embued with medieval ambiance in 19th century historical painting, from which the imagery of the film is rendered. Since Erkel’s music and the dialogue in the film had to be produced into one sound picture, the result of the lengthy pre- and post sound production is also a special musical experience assured by the world class Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

2011 - Hungarian Film Festival in Los Angeles: Tony Curtis Award
presented by the Consulate General of Hungary in Los Angeles

Awards

Bydgoszcz Camerimage - 2002

Golden Frog

National premiere:
2002