The Danube Exodus

The Danube Exodus received its U.S. premiere at SFJFF in 1999. We are honored to reprise Forgacs’s gripping journey into the world of refugees displaced by war, as witnessed by the captain of a Danube cruise ship between 1938 and 1945. The Hungarian riverboat captain filmed the transformation of his elegant ship into a refugee liner that carried Central European Jews desperate to escape the coming conflagration, traveling, by way of the Danube River to the Black Sea and beyond, to Palestine. In deeply moving and personal moments, the captain captures the hopes and anxieties of his passengers as they dance, pray and even find romance. As the war continues, he begins to ferry a different set of refugees in the other direction: Bessarabian Germans expelled by the Russians in 1940.
Director and narrator of Free Fall Oratorio, Peter Forgács was born in Hungary in 1950. He lives and works in Budapest as a media artist and scientist. Forgács graduated from the Academy of Find Art, Budapest, 1977. In the early 70's Forgács work was influenced by the Hungarian fluxus & concept art movement and by experimental theatre & filmmakers. In 1983 he established the Private Film & Photo Archives Foundation for culture and art studies in Budapest. The archive now houses a collection of amateur films and snapshots spanning the 20th century Hungary. Forgács is a scientific researcher at the Hungarian Sociological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences where he is part of the Private Film and Photo Research Project. As an independent film and video artist, Forgács works at the Béla Balázs film Studio where in 1978 he created his first 16mm film CHILDREN MOVIE and video tape I SEE THAT I LOOK. Since then he has collaborated with GROUP 180, a Hungarian minimal music group, where his fruitful cooperation with composer and musician Tibor Szemzö began. From 2008 Festival: Director, Hungary Péter Forgács (1950) is a media artist and independent filmmaker based in Budapest, whose works have been exhibited world wide. Since 1978 he has made more than thirty films. He is best known for his Private Hungary series of award winning films based on home movies from the 1930s and 1960s, which document ordinary lives that were soon to be ruptured by an extraordinary historical trauma that occurs off screen. In 1983, Forgács established the Private Photo & Film Archives Foundation (PPFA) in Budapest, a unique collection of amateur film footage and has made this material the raw data for his unique re-orchestrations of history. In 2002 The Getty Research Institute held an exhibit of his installation The Danube Exodus: Rippling Currents of the River . His international debut came with the Bartos Family (1988), which was awarded the Grand Prix at the World Wide Video Festival in The Hague. Since then, he has received several international festival awards in Budapest, Lisbon, Marseille, San Francisco, and Berlin, where he won the Prix Europe for Free Fall. In the last decade, Forgács exhibited in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Prague, Bochum, Sao Paolo, New York, Rome, Graz, Fellbach, Warsaw, Krakow, Amsterdam, Newcastle, Ostrava, Madrid, Barcelona, Karlsruhe, Brugge, Los Angeles, Den Hague and Vienna. Various public collections, museums and universities keep Forgács highly recognized works. Filmography: 2005 El Perro Negro 2004 Mutual Analysis 2003 Do you really love me? The HungAryan installation 2003 Der Kaiser auf dem Spaziergang - light & image project 2002 The Bishop’s Garden - Private Hungary 14 2001 A Bibó Reader - Private Hungary 13 1999 Angelos’ Film 1998 The Danube Exodus 1997 The Maelstrom - A Family Chronic 1997 Kádár’s Kiss - Private Hungary 12 1997 Class Lot - Private Hungary 11 1996 Free Fall - Private Hungary 10 1996 Pauer Pseudo 1996 The Land of Nothing - Private Hungary 9 1994 Meanwhile Somewhere 1940-43... 1994 The Notes of a Lady - Private Hungary 8 1994 Hungarian Totem (video - 26min) 1993 Conversations on Psychoanalysis - documentary series 5/5 1 Freud & Vienna 2 Sándor Ferenczi & the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis 3 The Psychoanalytic View of Man 4 Psychoanalysis & Society 5 Psychoanalysis as Therapy 1993 Simply Happy - with Albert Wulffers 1993 Culture Shavings 1992 Bourgeoisie Dictionary - Private Hungary 7 1992 Wittgenstein Tractatus - INTERLUDE series 1991 Arizona diary - with poet György Petri 1991 Photographed by László Dudás - Private Hungary 6 1991 D-FILM - Private Hungary 5 1991 Márai Herbal - INTERLUDE series 1990 The Diary of Mr. N. - Private Hungary 4 1989 Either - Or - Private Hungary 3 1989 Dusi & Jenõ - Private Hungary 2 1988 The Bartos Family - Private Hungary 1 1987 Episodes from the Life of Professor M.F. 1986 The Portrait of Leopold Szondi 1985 Spinoza Rückwertz 1985 Iron Age 1985 Golden Age video 1978 I See That I Look Art works in art collections: Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Frankreich Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, USA Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Ungarn
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