Scene from the film Judgement in Hungary
Scene from the film Judgement in Hungary
Scene from the film Judgement in Hungary

Judgement in Hungary

  • Hungary
  • Germany
  • Portugal
Audio Tracks 

In 2008 and 2009, a group of Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of attacks on random members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a five-year-old, and another five were injured. The trial of the four suspects lasted two-and-a-half years, and the verdict was passed in August 2013. Director Eszter Hajdú filmed the trial and condensed it to create an oppressive Kammerspielfilm starring the cold-blooded suspects, an irritable judge and the victims’ families. Without any commentary, Hajdú recorded the drawn-out and sometimes chaotic trial from the cramped courtroom’s public gallery. A small static camera shows the judge's point of view, while close-ups highlight the emotions of the people touched by the crime. Sometimes we see the protagonists outside the courtroom, for example during the reconstruction at the crime scene. At the start of the trial, the victims and next of kin assume there will be justice, and they have faith that the Hungarian authorities will protect them. But will the extremists be found guilty? The widespread anti-Roma sentiment in Hungarian society, and the bungling (intentional or otherwise) on the part of the police give them reason to fear they will not.


  • Original title
    Judgement in Hungary
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Eszter Hajdú
  • DOP
    István Szőnyi, Eszter Hajdu, Gábor Medvigy, András Horváth, Péter Steiner, János Varga, Viktor Csaba Németh, Csaba Bedő
  • Editing
    Bence Bartos
  • Music
    Sandor Mester
  • Sound
    János Bohus
  • Duration
    108 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Hungary
    • Germany
    • Portugal
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • IDFA - International Documentary Film Festval, Amsterdam, 2013
    • Trieste International Film Festival, Trieste, 2014
    • Götheborg Film Festival - Götheborg, 2014
    • One World Prague, Prague, 2014
    • One World Romania, 2014
    • Movies That Matter Film Festival, The Hague, 2014
    • GoEast-Wiesbaden, Germany, 2014
    • Hot Docs, Canada, 2014
    • Krakow Film Festival, Krakow, 2014
  • Awards
    • BEST FEATURE FILM - CinAlfama Lisbon International Film Awards, 2016 Portuga
    • European Civil Rights Special Prize - Strasbourg France 2016
    • SPECIAL MENTION WatchDocs Warsawa, Poland
    • Verzió Human Righs Film Festival, Budapest - AUDIENCE AWARD
    • Listapad International Film Festival, Minsk - GRAND PRIX FOR THE BEST DOCUMENTARY
    • Sarajevo Film Festival, 2014-SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
    • One World Prague, Czech Republic, 2014 -BEST FILM AWARD
    • GoEast-Wiesbaden, Germany, 2014 -BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM AWARD
    • London-Open City Film Festival, 2014 - GRAND JURY AWARD
    • Trieste International Film Festival, Italy - CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE AWARD, 2014 is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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