Logodi Street

Nina Czegledy

1994, 23:00 minutes, colour, English/Hungarian


"An immigrant to America, I was confronted with a choice: either to leave behind what existed only in my memory and to find in what surrounded me material for reflection or, people from my past. It seemed to me that my wealth consisted precisely in my knowledge of details, be they geographical or historical..." -Czeslaw Milosz.

Logodi Street, a subjective documentary, investigates the interplay between historical events and personal memories. The interaction is facilitated by focusing on the buildings and stories of a street in the historical Castle district of Budapest. Once a site of elegant patrician's homes, with wrought iron balconies, gardens, curving marble steps, gas lamps and steep stairs leading up and down Castle Hill, now the street forms a fissure between the freshly renovated tourist quarter above and the soot-covered cement jungle beneath. As we approach, as we are zooming in, the shrapnel marks, broken ornaments, twisted gratings, crooked windows, tilting walls, fractured bricks, the scars of the buildings become evident. One is constantly aware of the past. Turmoil here is not just a metaphor - inhabitants were denounced, imprisoned, deported, yet espresso was sipped, children were raised, poetry composed. The often painful stories are related by cheerful old ladies and young people as well. And this is also a personal story:
"In my youth I disliked everything that seemed forced or contrived: ornamental architecture, ... my mother's pretension, ... the stifling politics of the fifties, everything. So I left. It was my little rebellion. Now, in my dreams and in reality, I walk back along the same streets - aged and changed - and see what is left behind. This neighbourhood is my anchor, securing through time the stories of the street which became the story of my life."
Shot on location in Hungary, the visuals of
Logodi Street combine contemporary images with layered montages of archival footage provided by the Hungarian National Film Archives. The video is a co-production between MTV (Hungary) and the Banff Centre and was produced as part of the Memory / History Project. Available in Hungarian.

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