VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives

GULAG Film Nights

07 April 2016

On the occasion of the GULAG Memorial Year, the VERITAS Research Institute for History and Tabán Artmozi (Art Films) are together hosting a number of film nights related to the GULAG. The series runs from March 3rd to May 5th, 2016, at the Tabán Cinema. The next screening will be held on April 7th, at 6 PM.
Moviegoers will have the opportunity to watch excerpts from Sándor Sára’s taboo-defying documentaries.

The fifth screening in the GULAG Film Nights series will be the 1990 documentary Te még élsz? (You’re Still Alive?). From 1945 to 1953 Béla Keményfi was a prisoner in a Siberian labor camp. A member of an organized youth group, he tried to avoid military service, but in the end got sent west. He did not have to fight, however. Upon arriving home, Russian soldiers detained him, suspecting him of being a reconnaissance scout. When he tried to escape, he was shot, the bullet hitting him in the spine. He lost feeling in his legs. While being operated on, he was kidnapped and thrown on a train heading for the Soviet Union. He was given a ten-year sentence. Stalin’s death in April 1953 raised hopes of an eventual release among the Hungarian prisoners languishing in the Soviet camps. Hope became reality in November when the first and second railcars – carrying a total of 750 ex-prisoners – crossed the Hungarian border at Csap. Most of these returnees had spent from seven to eleven hard years in the camps. To this day we do not have official figures on the number of victims sent to the Soviet Union. Barely 4,300 of them saw the light of freedom. Who knows how many of them are still alive today.

The host of the evening will be historian János Rácz, Research Fellow at the VERITAS Institute. There is no entry fee. Tickets may be picked up at the Tabán box office (1016 Budapest, Krisztina krt. 87-89).

The film was made in 1990 and has a running time of ninety-five minutes.