The Politics of Retribution in the Film Industry through the lens of Certification Committees in Postwar Hungary

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 20212:00PM - 3:30PMOnline Event, Zoom webinar
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This presentation will examine the fate of actors/actresses in the film and theatre industry in Hungary postwar. How did the politics of retribution unfold in the reorganization of the field of theatre and film in Hungary after 1945?

Certification committees were established to examine the activities of actors, actresses and technical workers in the theatre and film industry both interwar and during the war, to determine whether they would be certified to resume work again. In order for an actor or actress to work in the industry, it was essential to obtain certification. This presentation will examine the inner workings of two certification committees for actors and actresses through the historical lens of the postwar era and the methodology and decisions of the examiners. It will also describe the language used in the process, and why certain individuals were certified quickly and with very little administrative process, while others received several months, years or a lifetime ban from acting in film and/or in theatres.

Susan M. Papp has had a distinguished career as an award-winning broadcaster and filmmaker. One of her documentaries received the prestigious Michener Award for Public Service. Dr. Papp is also the author of many scholarly articles and several books, including a history of the Munk-Munkácsi family in the volume How it Happened: Documenting the Tragedy of Hungarian Jewry. One of her books, Outcasts: A Love Story, is based on a true story that took place during the Holocaust. Originally written in English, Outcasts has been translated into three languages and made into a documentary film. Susan Papp earned her Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation, The Politics of Exclusion and Retribution in the Hungarian Film Industry, 1929-1947, will provide the topic of her presentation.


Dr. Susan Papp

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