Weekly newsletter

New Documentary Reveals Never-before-seen Secrets of Parliament

Hungary Today 2024.06.13.

The documentary film House of Hungary (Az ország háza) presents the architectural, historical, and artistic richness of the Hungarian Parliament Building, the parts of the monumental building that few can visit, and emblematic moments of Hungarian history to an international audience.

“The House of Parliament? Is it for sale?” – Queens’s Freddie Mercury asked when he saw the monumental building while sailing down the Danube on a visit to Hungary in 1986. The scene, which has been much talked about ever since, can also be seen in the documentary, which had its premiere at the Parliament on June 11, and will be shown to the public on June 14 at the MOZ.GO Hungarian Motion Picture Festival, reports Turizmus.com.

The documentary, shot in spring 2023, will show the historical, artistic, and architectural richness of the 268-meter long, 96-meter high, 17,000-square-meter neo-Gothic building to an international audience,

bringing the fateful moments of Hungary’s thousand-year history closer to the public.

Ema Horvath, an American actress of Hungarian origin from Slovakia, known for her role in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, will guide the audience through the building from cellar to attic. Viewers can admire the artwork that adorns the Parliament, and see how Mihály Munkácsy’s painting Conquest would look in the meeting room where it was originally designed. Those interested can hear fascinating details of how the building survived World War II, and see the special windows painted by Miksa Róth, many of which were hidden in coffins in the basement when the Siege of Budapest began in December 1944.

We were able to use a lot of technical equipment – drones, high light objectives, for example – that had not been available before.

Therefore, we were able to get close to parts of the building that no one had ever seen before – not even the people who built it, in fact,” stressed director-cinematographer András Nagy. In addition to footage of the Parliament, viewers can also see excerpts from interviews with experts including art historians Katalin Keserü, Margit Nógrádi-Kerekes and József Rozsnyai, József Lukács, the Parliament’s chief architect, and historian Róbert Hermann, and learn about the heated debates that took place in the 19th century about the style of the parliament that was to be built.

Pictures from the making of the documentary. Photo via Facebook/BUDAMOUNT Film

The documentary also offers new information for Hungarian viewers, including some of the less well-known details of events such as the assassination attempt on the future Prime Minister István Tisza in 1912. Shortly after his election as Speaker, an MP – who was banned from the House because of his scandalous behavior – tried to shoot Tisza, and the marks of one of the failed shots can still be seen on the walls.

István Tisza, prime minister of Hungary from 1903 to 1905, and from 1913 until 1917. Photo via Wikipedia.

The documentary also recalls how in the early 1920s, during the winter months, almost 300 children who had arrived in Budapest from the territories annexed in the Treaty of Trianon,

often orphaned or separated from their families, were housed in the empty rooms of the Parliament House.

Photo via Facebook/BUDAMOUNT Film

The film is rich in archival footage, including rarely seen footage of a young man climbing to the top of the 96-meter-high dome of the Parliament in the autumn of 1956, to lower the red star. The documentary, produced by Budamount Film, is scheduled to premiere on Hungarian television in August 2024. The filmmakers’ aim is to bring the film to as many parts of the world as possible, thus House of Hungary is expected to be available on streaming services.

Museum of Ethnography Voted the World’s Best Public Building
Museum of Ethnography Voted the World’s Best Public Building

The House of Music Hungary also won an award at the FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence.Continue reading

Via Turizmus.com; Featured image via Pixabay

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>