Bánk Bán
(Bánk bán)

feature, 35mm, 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


Csaba Káel Director
Gábor Mészöly Screenplay
Vilmos Zsigmond Director of photography
Thomas Ernst Editor
Ferenc Erkel Music
Ottó Oláh, Róbert Erdész, Péter Schlotthauser, Gusztáv Bárány Sound
Attila Csikós Visual design
Rita Velich Costumes
László Z. Kocsis, András Wermer, Tamás Várnai Producer
Produkció Kft. Production company
Balázs Endrődy Executive producer
Attila Réti, Lajos Miller, Sándor Sólyom-Nagy, Dénes Gulyás, Kolos Kováts, Andrea Rost, Éva Marton, Attila Kiss B. Cast


Bydgoszcz Camerimage - 2002 Golden Frog


Thiruvananthapuram Kerala International Film Festival - 2003
Thiruvananthapuram International Film Festival - 2007
Minneapolis St. Paul  International Film Festival - 2003
Santa Barbara International Film Festival - 2003
Mumbai International Film Festival - 2003
Palic International Film Festival - 2003
Palm Springs International Film Festival - 2003
Sant' Agata dei Goti Sannio FilmFest - 2004
Philadelphia Film Festival - 2003
Cleveland International Film Festival - 2003
Istanbul Rendez-Vous - 2003
Dhaka Film Festival - 2003
Calcutta International Film Festival - 2003
Seattle International Film Festival - 2007
Jerusalem International Film Festival - 2003
Portland International Film Festival - 2003
Munich Film Festival - 2003
Washington AFI FEST - 2003

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