Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Freedom Dance

On Monday evening, Dan and I attended a film screening sponsored by the Fulbright Commission and Central European University.  The film, entitled Freedom Dance, is a short animated documentary about Edward and Judy Hilbert and their journey to escape Hungary during the 1956 revolution.  Edward Hilbert was a cartoonist and his own drawings were used to create the film.  He had made a sort of diary with cartoons depicting the events.  The film producers were able to animate these drawings to tell the story.  I thought that the final result was quite amazing.  The combination of the cartoon mixed with footage from an interview worked well.  I particularly felt that the score was well suited to the action on screen.  There was nothing cartoonish about it.  The music was mainly piano with occasional violin solos and synthesized sounds.  This light instrumentation perfectly accompanied the story without overpowering it.

We enjoyed the film.  I think that personal stories like these have such a powerful impact which cannot be gained from a history book.  I also thought a lot about Hidas during the film as he lived almost exactly the same time as Hilbert. Edward Hilbert lived 1927-2006 whereas Frigyes Hidas lived 1928-2007.  Unlike Hilbert, Hidas remained in Budapest.  I look forward to learning more about Hidas' life during this time. The current scholarship on Hidas does not include much information about his personal life, especially as it may relate to historic events.  Here is a recording of part of Hidas' Organ Sonata, composed in 1956.


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