Werckmeister Harmonies (Werckmeister harmóniák)

(2000, feature, 35mm, black & white , 145 minutes, 1:1,66, DolbySR)

This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain.
In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost.
It is bitterly cold weather � without snow.
It us twenty degrees below zero.
Even in this bewildered cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus tent, which is put up in the main square, to see � as the outcome of their wait � the chief attraction, the stuffed carcass of a real whale.
The people are coming from everywhere.
From the neighbouring settlings, from different holes of the Plain, even from quite far away parts of the country.
They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless, rag-wearing crowd.
This strange state of affairs � the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost � disturbs the order of the small town.
The human connections are overturning, the ambitious personages of the story feel they can take advantage of this situation, while the people who are condemned anyway to passivity fall into an even deeper uncertainty.
The tension growing to the unbearable is brought to explosion by the figure of the Prince, who is pretending facelessness and is lying low behind the whale. Even his mere appearance is enough to break loose the destroying emotions.
The apocalypse that sweeps away everything spares nothing. I does not spare the outsiders wrapped up in scientificness, does not spare the teenage enthusiasts, the people who have philistine fears for ease, the family � nothing that the European culture preserved as from of attitude in the last centuries.
The burst of instinctive rage helps the victory of the petty lust for power, that finally holds the rage down again, as the terrible end of an awful story, justifying the sarcastic game of nature � the whale and the cold without snow, which are unimaginable for Hungarian people.

Made from 1996 to 2000.

Awards

Brussels L’Age d’Or - 2000

Prix Cinédécouvertes

Sofia International Film Festival - 2001

FIPRESCI Prize

Berlin International Film Festival - Forum of New Cinema - 2001

Berliner Zeitung’s Reader’s Prize to the Best Film of Forum

Budapest Hungarian Film Week - 2001

Main Prize,

Sassari Sardinia Film Festival - 2017

Career Award

Festivals

Edinburgh International Film Festival - 2000

Warsaw International Film Festival - 2001

Sodankylä Midnight Sun Film Festival - 2001

Freistadt "Der Neue Heimatfilm" Festival - 2001

Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs - 2000

Săo Paulo International Film Festival - 2001

San Francisco International Film Festival - 2001

Wroclaw New Horizons IFF - 2004

Retrospective

Brisbane International Film Festival - 2001

Seville Film Festival - 2005

Béla Tarr Retrospective

Cork Film Festival - 2000

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival - 2004

Béla Tarr Retrospective

Barcelona POSIBLE - 2002

Istanbul International Film Festival - 2001

Perugia International Film Festival - 2002

Vancouver International Film Festival - 2000

Sarajevo Film Festival - 2006

Tribute to Béla Tarr

Cluj-Napoca Transilvania - 2002

Auckland-Wellington New Zealand IFF - 2001

Prague FEBIOFEST - 2007

Béla Tarr Retrospective

Huesca Film Festival - 2005

Béla Tarr Retrospective

Chicago International Film Festival - 2000

Bratislava International Film Festival - 2001

Wiesbaden GoEast Film Festival - 2001

(in competition)

Split Film Festival - 2000

Sitges International Film Festival - 2004

Setúbal FESTROIA  International Film Festival - 2004

Thessaloniki International Film Festival - 2002

Béla Tarr Retrospective

Innsbruck International Film Festival - 2001

Jerusalem International Film Festival - 2001

Auckland International Film Festival - 2001

Jeonju International Film Festival - 2001

Ljubljana International Film Festival - 2001

Mumbai International Film Festival - 2000

Rotterdam International Film Festival - 2001

Toronto International Film Festival - 2000

Cluj-Napoca Cinema Paradiso Film Festival - 2003

Bergamo Film Meeting - 2002

National premiere:
2000