Protest Media Law in Hungary

I received the following email yesterday, asking for support for Bela Tarr and other Hungarian film artists, organizing resistance to impending legislation in Hungary that would allow the government total control of what the media may or may not make public. I’m appending all the info as well as the letter of support Tarr & friends have been sending out, and the signatures gathered so far.

Dear Mr. Joris,

I received the attached protest letter from Bela Tarr. If you can share it with whoever you know it would aid raising awareness. Many renowned directors and others have already signed the letter. I think you will understand the extremity of the situation, which you may already be aware of. It calls for our solidarity too. Here is the original Hungarian:

Letters of protest can be sent to European Parliament (see addresses below) and to any international newspapers.

In solidarity,
Rainer J. Hanshe
Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics

European Parliament
Rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat
B- 1047 Brussels – Belgium
Tel: (32-2) 284 21 11
Fax: (32-2) 284 69 74
(32-2) 230 69 33

Allée du Printemps
B.P. 1024
F-67070 Strasbourg Cedex – France
Tel: (33) 3 88 17 40 01
Fax: (33) 3 88 25 65 01 (WIC)
(33) 3 88 17 49 60

Plateau du Kirchberg
L-2929 Luxembourg
Tel: (352) 43 00-1
Fax: (352) 43 00 294 94 (KAD)
(352) 43 00 293 93 (SCH)
(352) 43 00 292 92 (ADG)
Also, support can be expressed directly to Tarr through writing him:

And, relatedly, a BBC News Report on the new Hungary Media Bill.


Here is the full letter from Tarr requesting solidarity:


Culture is a basic human right!

Hungarian film and motion picture is an integral part of European culture.

Hungarian films talk about Hungarian people and Hungarian life in Hungarian, in an original and unique way. These works of art using a peculiar, different and autonomous artistic language inform the world about our country, our fate.

To ruin that is to destroy culture!

This cannot be justified by utilitarianism, a misconstruction of economic situation, political intent or subjective opinion!

The Hungarian government has decided that instead of the democratic self-government structure that has guaranteed the plurality of Hungarian film so far, they will introduce a single-person decision-making system.

It is our view that this decision endangers the hitherto varied nature of Hungarian film.

We, Hungarian filmmakers, who intend to continue to be committed and true to our vocation, and would like to continue working according to the best of our abilities and our convictions, with responsibility and honor, ask everyone to support the survival of the polyphony of Hungarian film!

Budapest, January 10, 2011.

With friendly regards,

Ildikó Enyedi, Benedek Fliegauf, Szabolcs Hajdú, Miklós Jancsó, Ágnes Kocsis, Márta Mészáros, Kornél Mundruczó, György Pálfi,  Béla Tarr

The following artists and professionals have expressed their support:

Theo Angelopoulos – Greece
Olivier Assayas –France
Bertrand Bonello –France
Leon Cakoff – Brazil
Alfonso Cuaron –Mexico
Luc Dardenne –Belgium
Jean-Pierre Dardenne –Belgium
Arnaud Desplechin –France
Jacques Doillon – France
Marion Döring – Germany
Atom Egoyan –Canada
Amat Escalante –Mexico
Jean-Michel Frodon –France
John Gianvito – USA
Erika Gregor – Germany
Ulrich Gregor – Germany
Joana Hadjithomas – Lebanon
Michael Haneke – Austria
Alejandro Hartmann –Argentina
Shozo Ichiyama – Japan
Khalil Joreige –Lebanon
Aki Kaurismaki – Finland
Stella Kavadatou –Greece
Vassilis Konstandopoulos –Greece
Mia Hansen Love –France
Wojciech Marczewski – Poland
Cristian Mungiu –Romania
Celina Murga –Argentina
Olivier Père – Switzerland
Timothy Quay – Great Britain
Stephen Quay – Great Britain
Carlos Reygadas –Mexico
Arturo Ripstein – Mexico
Daniel Rosenfeld – Argentina
Gus van Sant –USA
Uli M Schueppel – Germany
Ulrich Seidl – Austria
Hanna Schygulla –France
Tilda Swinton – Great Britain
Juan Villegas – Argentina
Peter Watkins – Great Britain
Andrzej Wajda – Poland
Maura Del Serra – Italy
Rainer J. Hanshe – America
Fulya Peker – America/Turkey
Maura Del Serra
Jonas Mekas – USA
Richard Pena, Lincoln Center- USA
Jim Jarmusch- USA
Frederic Boyer- France
Pierre Joris- USA

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