(2001, feature, 35mm, color, 118 minutes)
The pagan insurrections, the campaigns abroad, and the succession struggles during the years following the death of Hungary’s state founder King Stephen I (1038) utterly exhausted the country. Law and order practically ceased to exist, and political and moral corruption threatened to topple King Stephen’s independent state. Andrew and Béla, the children of Vazul – who had revolted against Stephen, and were subsequently blinded for their pains – were succeeded by Solomon, who was crowned king with German help. However, Solomon was unable to wrest control of the situation. With the help of his cousins, Princes Géza and Ladislas (sons of King Béla), Solomon lead the Magyar armies to oust the maurading Kuns (1068), but his plotting triggered a fratricidal war in the divided kingdom. Géza and Ladislas defeated Solomon (1074) and with the crown received as a gift from Byzantium, Géza was crowned king.
The chaste King Géza was unable to establish unity during his brief reign, leaving the task to his younger brother Ladislas, who succeeded him to the throne in 1077. Ladislas’s harsh laws bridled the passion and anger that had been unleashed, and taking sides with the Pope he managed to adroitly maintain a balance between the influence of the Church and the Germans. Ladislas initiated the canonisation of Stephen, the king who had had his grandfather blinded, and whose political legacy he identified with. Ladislas joined the Greek hoop crown with the Latin crown that had been used to crown Stephen, and in so doing created the Holy Crown of Hungary, today a symbol of millennial Hungarian statehood. Some of his contemporaries referred to him as ”Elegantissimus rex”, others as the ”Knight King.” His popularity soared, and his reign gave rise to many tales and legends. The most successful Hungarian film in cinema in the year 2001