Archive of films The Unburied Man / A temetetlen halott

Hungary / Poland / Slovak Republic
2004, 127 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2005

A cinematic statement on the end of the life of Communist Premier Imre Nagy, who tried to institute democracy in 1956 during the Hungarian Uprising. He was executed and his name long became taboo. This reconstruction of his attitudes and life draws on a memoir written by his daughter Erzsébet.


Thanks to his courageous stand, Imre Nagy (Communist Premier in 1953-55 and 1956) became a symbol of the Hungarian Uprising, which was violently crushed by the Soviet Army. He and his liberal government urged that the state-run economy and its social gains be connected with political democracy. After being defeated, he was held in Snagov, Romania, and later imprisoned. Despite violent coercion, he never recognized János Kádár’s workerpeasant government. In 1958, after a staged trial and subsequent execution, he was buried anonymously. Key periods from the end of his life are reconstructed using documentary footage alternating with segments suggested by a memoir on Nagy written by his daughter Erzsébet. The film refers to the greater context of the biographically defined drama whose historical controversy is described by Nagy’s biographers Miklós Molnár and Laszló Szabó with the statement: If his life was the question, his death was the answer.

About the director

Márta Mészáros (b. 1931, Budapest) grew up in the USSR where her father perished in Stalin’s purges. She got her training in film at Moscow’s Film School (VGIK), graduating in 1956. She began making documentaries in Romania and continued in Hungary with an acclaimed series on the emotional problems of lonely women: The Girl (Eltávozott nap, 1968), Binding Sentiments (Holdudvar, 1968), Adoption (Örökbefagadás, 1975), Nine Months (Kilenc hónap, 1976), Just Like at Home (Olyan, mint otthon, 1978) and others. In another festival-awarded series, the director combined events in her own life with traumatizing political realities: Diary for My Children (Napló gyermekeimnek, 1982), Diary for My Loves (Napló szerelmeimnek, 1987), Diary for My Father and Mother (Napló apámnak, anyámnak, 1990) and Little Vilma. The Last Diary (Kisvilma. Az utolsó napló, 1999). And she offered critical reflections on the present day in The Seventh Room (A hetedik szoba, 1995) and Daughters of Luck (A szerencse lányai, 1998).


Magyar Filmunió / Hungarian National Film Fund
Róna utca 174., 1145, Budapest
Tel: +36 146 113 01, +36 146 113 20

Mokép Co. / Hungarofilm Division
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 7., H-1065, Budapest
Tel: +36 1 267 3026
Fax: +36 1 267 3140

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Márta Mészáros
Screenplay: Márta Mészáros, Éva Pataki
Dir. of Photography: Nyika Jancsó
Music: Zygmunt Konieczny
Editor: Éva Kármentő
Producer: Attila Csáky
Production: Cameofilm Ltd., koprodukce/coproduction: Ars Media (Slovak Republic), Akson Studio (Poland), Polish TV, TVP SA - Film Agency
Cast: Jan Nowicki, Marianna Moór, Jan Frycz, György Cserhalmi, Lili Horváth
Contact: Magyar Filmunió / Hungarian National Film Fund, Mokép Co. / Hungarofilm Division


Márta Mészáros

Film Director

Annamária Basa

Jan Nowicki


Csaba Papp

Film Institution Rep., PR & Marketing

Attila Csáky

Producer, Producer


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