Hungary and Poland, to a large degree, have parallel and interlocking histories. Krzysztof Rucinski looks at how the two film masters of these nations have presented the past and themes of oppression in their early masterpieces.

A parallel history of two nations

“Pole, Hungarian: dear kin / Both, to saber and to drink!” claims an old bilingual proverb that encapsulates in a mere ten words whole centuries of mutual feelings and shared historical experience that have tied these two central European nations in an unoficial but everlasting union. Indeed, one is bound to look in vain for other examples of two nations/states that have covered their respective historical trajectories on the geo-political map of the modern world in as similar way and at as similar pace as have done Hungary and Poland.