The Square
(A tér)

documentary, digital, 52 minutes


I moved to a new house. Under me busy streets meet, squeezing a piece of ground against the wall of the house – The Square.
Countrary to the will of the city, the district decided to build a memorial over soldiers, civilians and Jews alike, who die din the II WW.
The memorial was designed int he shape of the "Turul" bird, a mythical creature int he Hungarian mythology with a symbolic value that still today causes heated debate.
On a territory the size of a handkerchief the film gives a picture of the tensions in today’s Hungary.

I moved to the top floor  of an apartment house facing a small forgotten square long before the place became a stage for Hungarian political life. There is a great view from my window to the square and politics just happened to enter through my window.
In 2005 the mayor of district XII of Budapest decided to build a World War II memorial  in the square. The memorial was designed in the shape of a bird, a Turul bird in the honor of the district regardless of their race sex or nationality. The leadership of the capital did not agree. The Turul bird is a mythical creature understood by some as the symbol of Hungarian identity but to others it brings back memories from the 1920s when the "Turul Alliance" initiated the exclusion of Jews from higher education.
The city leadership feared that the monument would become stage for neo-Nazi  demonstrations.
Despite repeated prohibition by the lord mayor the district mayor did set up and inaugurate the Turul monument in the square.
A public outcry and demonstrations from those opposing the statue followed, only to be answered by counterdemonstrations by the supporters who claimed that the "leftist" objections were degrading the ancient symbol and therefore wounding "the Hungarian pride".
My square had become a stage of Hungarian political life. But the square has also a private life as it always had – it is living with us and tells us stories about ourselves. It may sound strange but from my window I could also follow touching stories of human life. The view from my window allowed me to follow tensions and conflicts but also appearance of love in today’s Hungary.


Lívia Gyarmathy Director
Kai Salminen, Zsuzsa Böszörményi Screenplay
Lívia Gyarmathy, Péter Vékás Director of photography
Beáta Eszlári Editor
Ferenc Darvas Music
Zsuzsa Böszörményi Producer
BGB Film Production company


Cracow Film Festival - 2014 (in competition)
Mar del Plata International Film Festival - 2014
Paris International Environmental Film Festival - 2015 (in competition)

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