From Escapism to Propaganda: Hungarian Cinema in the Age of Growing Anti-Semitism, Nationalism, and World War II. Review Article of Frey, David. 2018. Jews, Nazis and the Cinema of Hungary: The Tragedy of Success, 1929-44 London, New York: I.B. Tauris. 462 pp. illus. and Gergely, Gábor. 2018. Hungarian Film 1929-1947: National Identity, Anti-Semitism, and Popular Cinema. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 329 pp. illus.

Lilla Tőke


The article reviews recent scholarship on Hungarian cinema in the age of rising nationalism, anti-Semitism and World War II. It looks at two books specifically as they examine issues such as the film industry’s transition from silent to sound film, the nationalization of the film industry system, the impact of anti-Jewish legislation on film making, and political censorship. The article also considers how the books address genre and the birth of star system in Hungarian film.


Hungarian cinema; film politics; World War II; anti-Semitism; national cinema

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