Czech festival gives highest prize to documentary about racist murders of Roma in Hungary
"Judgment in Hungary" has won the prize for Best Film at the One World human rights documentary film festival in the Czech Republic. The main jury said director Eszter Hajdú's recording of the trial of four right-wing extremists charged with murdering Romani people provides audiences with a devastating view of contemporary society.
This year the jury awarded a total of nine prizes during the awards ceremony last Wednesday evening at the end of the competition. Organizers publicized the winners on the festival's website.
"The film 'Judgment in Hungary' takes place in a gloomy courtroom, where four promoters of the extreme right are being tried for murder, and is a devastating, uncompromising view of contemporary society," the main jury said in its decision. Jurors said the director captured the judges' behavior toward the witnesses, the relationship between the members of the prison services and the defendants, the smiles of the lawyers, and the empty seats in the courtroom through cinema verité.
The prize for best direction went to a Canadian-Swedish film, "Forest of the Dancing Spirits" by Linda Västrik, who spent seven years filming a hunter-gatherer tribe in the rainforest. The film also won the Czech Radio jury prize.
The main jury awarded an honorable mention to the film "L'Experience Blocher", a French-Swiss production about the fomenting of fear and racism in Switzerland in order to win political power. A second honorable mention was awarded to the French documentary "L'Escale", which is about migrants heading to Europe.
Of the 12 works nominated, the Václav Havel jury selected the film "Miners Shot Down", which also opened the festival. Director Rehad Desai captured the bloody suppression of a strike in a South African mine in that documentary.
An honorable mention was also awarded by the Václav Havel jury to the British film "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka". The student jury gave its prize to the Cuban film "Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War", about young musicians who fight against wrongs through their art.
The ninth award of the festival was decided by the viewers. This year's audience award went to the film "The Crash Reel", a story about the competitive snowboarding scene and the injuries that can change someone's entire life in a mere second.
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