about the festival
There are dozens of human rights documentary film festivals all over, from Amsterdam through Prague and Warsaw to New York. But not one in Budapest - until now. Film professionals dismiss these festivals as "activist events", the legal profession complains about the lack of concrete cases, of objectiveness, about the representative character of the films. But the films in Version are not visual illustrations of court cases. Using their unique visual medium, they investigate the lives of the outcast, the handicapped, the impoverished, the humiliated. The creators of the Version films do not abuse the trust and defenselessness of their protagonists; what they portray is not the exotic, the sensational, the showy or the easy-to-sell, but the real lives of these people as they are lived. And since human rights are the blank spot, the empty space in films as well as in real life, the majority of the Version films are inevitably sad: the tone is dark. But of course, there are always exceptions that prove the rule.
The Version films shot in China, Cambodia and North Korea testify that the main threat to human rights in dictatorships and autocratic regimes is the state itself. At the same time Version films show that the reason why human rights cannot fully prevail even in strong, model democracies like the United States or Germany is the inhuman machinery of state administration. This, of course, does not imply that democracies are no better than autocratic regimes in terms of human rights aspect: something that is a functional disorder in the operation of a democracy becomes the system itself in a dictatorship.
32 of the 40 Version films come from abroad, in the original language and with English subtitles. These will be screened with Hungarian voice-over. We hope that the power of the visual images will help the audience to overcome this inconvenience.