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Home arrow CINEMA arrow Venezia75 | Il "suicidio" della civiltà nell'ultimo film di László Nemes
Venezia75 | Il "suicidio" della civiltà nell'ultimo film di László Nemes
di Marisa Santin   

laszlo_nemes.jpgIl suo film d'esordio, Son of Saul, è un oscuro viaggio nell'anima di un prigioniero ebreo abbozzato nel Sonderkommando che è costretto a partecipare allo sterminio del suo stesso popolo. Con Sunset, il regista ungherese László Nemes (1977) fa un altro passo indietro nella storia verso una Budapest che affronta la sua rovina durante la prima guerra mondiale, cercando di capire perché una civiltà moderna e sofisticata marcia inesorabilmente verso la sua stessa fine.



In Son of Saul, where everything seems to be lost, Saul tries not to lose at least one thing, his dignity and integrity. Here, again, the protagonist tries not to lose something essential, his memory and family roots. Is this something the two films have in common?

The two films are in a strange way actually connected to memory and to family roots without really having a real connection to my personal past. The obsession for family relationships in a world that is almost an enemy in a context that is either violent or chaotic, that interests me very much, perhaps because of my personal past, having divorced parents and family almost destroyed by the Holocaust. There’s a will to understand what went on in the world and this is why I went back to the beginning of the 20th century. There was a very brilliant and sophisticated civilization and it went into a suicide very, very rapidly, from its zenith to darkness.


How did you use history to convey sense and meaning?

History gives me a distance and a perspective. It is not something separated from the individual. Individuals and history are much more intimately, intricately linked than we may think.


This time you chose a woman as a main character. Why this particular perspective?

My grandmother told me a lot about the 20th Century. She lived through two World Wars and was confronted by all the totalitarian regimes, and all the tortures that went on in this part of the world. I wanted to go further back and beyond and deeper into history. Yes, the Holocaust was my first subject but I’m very interested in how we arrived there. So in this case the fate of a woman and the fate of the 20th Century – at one of its most important turning point – are linked. There’s a young woman lost in a city she doesn’t know, in circumstances she cannot control. I instinctively thought that it was a good way to analyse the scene.


Did you shoot in real Budapest?

It’s a mixture of reality and film. The environment is very much the fabric of the city itself. We built the set into the middle of it. We didn’t use CGI because I don’t like it very much. But it’s really hard to find even a hundred metres of old Budapest, almost everything was destroyed, even if not necessarely the buildings but the details and the sophistication of it was destroyed. The effort was to try to go back and do as much as possible.