18 July 2019

The Euphoria of Being at Locarno Critics’ Week

Réka Szabó is a filmmaker and choreographer and acts in both roles in ‘The Euphoria of Being’, where she brings together two women, they rehearse together the dance-theatre performance ‘The Euphoria of Being’ premiered in January 2019 in Budapest.

“Throwing all caution to the wind, I asked a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor to create a dance theatre piece with me. I wanted everyone to see Eva and to provide a space for Eva's traumas in a dialogue with a young person. For this I envisioned a duet with Emese, who is nearly 60 years younger than Eva. Where would the boundaries of understanding, of finding common ground lie? Would they be able to slip into each other's skin? And can we ever learn from the past? This rehearsal period was one of the most profound periods of my life. The film takes us on a journey through the history of the 20th century, through loss, the power of dance, the ageing body, love, a relationship across a 60 year age gap, and life's hidden strengths.” – noted Réka Szabó.

“Éva Fahidi was 20 years old when she returned alone to Hungary from Auschwitz Birkenau. 49 members of her family were murdered, including her mother, her father and her little sister. At the age of 90, Éva is asked to participate in a dance-theatre performance about her life. This would be the first time for her to perform on a stage. Réka, the director imagines a duet between Éva and the young, internationally acclaimed dancer, Emese. Réka wants to see these two women interact on stage, to see how their bodies and their stories can intertwine. Éva agrees immediately.
Three women – three months – a story of crossing boundaries. Whilst key moments of Éva’s life are distilled into theatre scenes, a truly wonderful and powerful relationship forms between the three women.” (

The Euphoria of Being (Photo: Campfilm)

Following Réka Szabó’s shorts films ‘Shadow Movie’ (2010) and ‘Mourning’ (2014). ‘The Euphoria of Being’ is her first full-length documentary.

The Euphoria of Being / A létezés eufóriája
Hungary · 2019 · DCP · Color · 83' · o.v. Hungarian

Director: Réka Szabó
Cast: Éva Fahidi , Emese Cuhorka , Réka Szabó
Producers: Réka Szabó, Sára László, Marcell Gerő
Co-producers: László Jancsó, Philippe Fontenoy, Szabolcs Győrffy
Cinematography: Claudia Kovács
Music: Balázs Barna
Screenplay: Réka Szabó
Sound: Rudolf Várhegyi
Editing: Sylvie Gadmer, Péter Sass
Production: Campfilm, The Symptoms

Locarno Critics’ Week (Semaine de la critique) is an independent section, organised by Swiss Association of Film Journalists, in cooperation with the Locarno Film Festival. The sidebar program was first held in 1990. Since then it has reviewed state of the art documentary film-making annually with a selection of works chosen for their specific expressive value or essence.

Last year, ‘Easy Lessons’ by Dorottya Zurbó, a documentary feature produced by the Hungarian National Film Fund’s Incubator Program, was premiered at Locarno Critics’ Week.