Private Project

Mária Kerényi, 41, July 1970

In this reenactment of a propaganda documentary, a woman is falling prey to the role assigned to her in slow motion. Upon her arrest, diplomat Mária Kerényi is interviewed by the state television. Her story in espionage confronts the mechanisms of autocracy and the concept of guilt in a closed society.

  • Daniel Misota
  • József Fülöp
    Symphony No. 42
  • Ágnes Krasznahorkai
    Key Cast
    "Mária Kerényi"
  • Sándor Terhes
    Key Cast
    Out, White God
  • Károly Hajduk
    Key Cast
    Those Who Remained, Strangled
  • Bálint Orosz
  • Gréta Melicher
    Production Designer
  • Dóra Pattantyus
    Costume Designer
  • Tamás Zányi
    Sound Designer
    Son of Saul, Taxidermia
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Kerényi Mária, 41, 1970. július
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, History
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
Director Biography - Daniel Misota

Daniel Misota was born in Szigetvár, on March 25, 1992. He studied media arts at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, while serving as cinematographer on short films and music videos. His directorial debut and thesis film in the Master's programme, Mária Kerényi, 41, July 1970 reenacts the shooting of a propaganda film.

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Director Statement

Some fifty years ago a propaganda report called "The Kerényi-Case" was released nationwide in the Hungarian state media. The film, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was intended to enforce an inherent fear of western people among Hungarians, particularly of people from West Germany. The film retells the story of a cultural diplomat who has been misled by a German spy supposedly and enumerates the methods of the West's assumed subversion of the Eastern Bloc. Regardless its widespread media coverage, the story didn't quite stick in our memory, however it did ruin the life of its protagonist. The film is now archived at the Open Society Archives in Budapest and it is available for research, but not for publishing. I came upon this film when I began my Master's studies and I was fascinated by its ambiguity that defies its original purpose. Our film uses the dialogue from the original transcript, and dramatizes the situation through its technical restrictions and the original film's framing decisions. It also gets rid of the agenda-driven editing of the original and devotes itself to contradicting it with a single, unedited take.