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Laci is a young gypsy worker hired to build a wall: his first look beyond holds an unusual revelation...

10 – 15 | 2013 | Drama | Hungary | Youth

Laci is a 16-year old gypsy boy, who lives off casual jobs. Every morning, the same waiting for some money. One day, he gets picked up from the streets along with a small group of workers for a construction job. He has to participate in the completion of a wall, that surrounds a series of tenement buildings. Brick after brick, the job’s almost done. In the end, Laci is asked to complete the work. He now takes his first look beyond the wall, which holds an unusual revelation for him…

Simon Szabó is a weird Hungarian talent: born in 1979, he’s a well-known DJ, has a promising acting career, directed his first shorts between 2002 and 2007 (Zsebzsötem, Let’s Roll), then the feature Paper Planes (2011) and the fragment Dreamstar Cruiser as a part of the anthology film Hungary 2011 (produced by Béla Tarr as an outcry in a country where the right-wing government led by Viktor Orban is increasingly restricting cultural and film work). Wall (Fal) marks a break – setting the genre (comedy, pulp, road trip) aside, Szabó focuses on man and his feelings: the intimate of a boy, frozen by a world made of time-wasting, work, money.

The chill and moody score makes the soundscapes timeless. Simon pays specific attention to realistic details and leaves his camera to Sándor Tóth’s body. He doesn’t dodge easy characterizations, even a debt of confidence toward the viewer. And yet, Budapest is before our eyes, the capital of authoritarian Hungary hated by the Union (the increased power of the state nationalizes utility companies and central bank…) and beloved by Black Europe. Contradictions, like offering an apple to a hungry girl and get chewed out. Believe it or not, events talk: the Hungarian Defense Force is building a wall along the Serbian border (175km long) to curb the flow of migrants coming into the country.

Premiered at the Berlinale Shortfilm Cloud, Wall was screened at several festivals (Trieste, Reykjavík, Gent) and was nominated at the 2014 European Film Awards.

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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