Twenty-eight years after the fall of communism and on the eve of a new presidential election, Hungary has arrived at a political crossroads. Is the country about to embark on another four years of right-wing populism, with Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party remaining in power, or will former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his pro-European left-wing party prevail? Filmmaker Eszter Hajdú followed both campaigns, but also gained access to the personal life of Gyurcsány. The resulting unique and sometimes moving scenes reveal the exhaustive efforts made by the candidate and his wife to get Hungary to shift to the left.
The results of this electoral battle were announced on April 8, 2018, but that does nothing to diminish the urgency of this film’s compelling central question: what motivates the right-wing voter? This is more than just a courageous and well-crafted account of a political battle. It’s a film for anyone seeking to better understand the rise of nationalism, in Europe or elsewhere. The fact that the names of some of the people who worked on the film don’t appear in the credits is testimony to the fact that Hajdú’s political portrait stepped on a lot of very sensitive toes.