Chico (2001), Ibolya Fekete’s second feature film, premiered at last year’s Karlovy Vary film festival, causing heated reactions for its depiction of the recent history of central Europe and especially the war in Croatia. Fekete, however, came away with the Best Director prize and the prize of the Ecumenical jury, and this year the film snapped up the Grand Prix from the Magyar Filmszemle (Hungarian Film Week) in Budapest. The film’s narrative is built around the identity crises of Eduardo Rozsa Flores, a “Spanish-Hungarian, Catholic-Jewish, communist” who ends up taking up arms in the break-up of Yugoslavia. The film is a dense hybrid of biography, documentary, recent history and “ideological adventure,” and is a fictionalised retelling of the life of an amateur actor from Fekete’s previous film Bolse vita(1996), with the lead character being played by his real self.Kinoeye met Iboya Fekete last November at the London film festival, where Chico was screened.
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