Artisans-The Dream Brigade (film)

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Date: 1983

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


Jeles.jpg

Artist: András Jeles (b. 1945)

Confronting Bodies: Hungarian Soviet Republic

Dates of Action: 1983

Location: Hungary

Description of Artwork: Artisans-The Dream Brigade focuses on Hungarian workers who are going to stage a Soviet play. As they rehearse, they begin to become more self-aware. They no longer see real patterns that help them to understand characters in the play, but rather start to become characters in the play. Their lives feel fictitious and the boundaries between fiction and reality are destroyed.

The party bureaucrats held that the film disempowers the working class by showing them as financially and spiritually weak. What's more, it challenges the idea that history is a linear and unalterable narrative. This challenged the goal-oriented nature of history that the party wanted to push.

The Incident: The film was completely banned in Hungary due to its questioning of the official ideology. Jeles continued to work afterwards, but continuous censorship and criticism from bureaucrats eventually caused him to quit film and instead work in theater.

Results of Incident: The movie remained banned until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. Chicago; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.