Producers: Tamás Lajos, Péter Fazakas
Format: animation to video
Production date: 2011
Production country: Hungary
Special thanks: Adrián Kupcsik
An animation film made in connection with a social structure: a miners’ estate. A graphic series using mixed techniques served as the basis of the film. The works of Nemes are usually inspired by formal (environmental or architectural) phenomena, and through his research of the underlying processes he reveals the substantial aspects of such phenomena. And through the relations thus evolving, economical and social changes become apparent. His animation film works along these lines this time as well. The venue (and the subject) of his work is the most poverty-stricken part of the former miner colony of Pécs, the buildings of which have originally functioned as miners’ homes. The destiny of the estate may be regarded as a model, because after the political and economical changes the miners have no longer been able to live their lives there as before, with many of them being forced to leave their homes. As a result, the abandoned buildings were occupied by other people (with many permanently unemployed gypsies among them), who either received these dwellings as part of the social assistance or occupied them illegally. In Hungary today similar living environments are typical for broad layers, in particular those driven to the periphery of society. Yet, instead of portraying all these subjects in the customarily sensational manner of the media, Nemes interprets them on the personal level, as noteworthy stories, yet as phenomena. His animation is based on a report with an old gypsy man who lives here even today and who – similarly to the former residents of the estate – used to be a miner in Pécs. While keeping his distance, the man talks suggestively about the historical past and present of the mine and the estate. In the meantime, documentary photos are shown about the old days of the miners’ community and mining as well as photos revealing the current situation of the estate accompanied by drawings made on the spot by the artist. The personal aspect is decisive as Nemes, being the reporter himself, appears in the film, thus deliberately becoming a part of the story and the situation. The personal aspect is further emphasised by the animation technique allowing not only the real events to be shown, yet the documentary form has a slightly contrary effect. In addition to the conversation, the pace of the film is determined by the fact that it is made of still images with minimum movement – somewhere between a slide show and a movie. Nemes uses the animation technique also as a communications tool, assuming, based on current media usage patterns, that it is a form that is easily accessible and interpretable by everyone.