DIRECTOR: ADAM TOSER STARRING: ZOLTAN SERESS, ATTILA VIDNYANSZKY, TIBOT GASPAR RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 45 MINUTES
In 1990, six months after his election as Prime Minister, Jozsef Antall faces the most difficult test of his life: taxi drivers blockading the whole country as a protest against the drastic rise in petrol prices.
“In love and in politics, there is no such thing as always and there is no such thing as never.”
Blockade is the latest submission for Hungary for International Feature. The film is focused on the life of Jozsef Antall during two key moments in his life. The first one being in 1956 when Antall, who was a teacher at the time, and his students joined the Hungarian Uprising against the Soviet Empire. And the second one in 1990 when Antall, now the Prime Minister, made it clear to Russia that Hungary wanted to leave the Warsaw Pact.
The film starts out with Antall headed to Moscow to talk to Mikhail Gorbachev about negotiating Hungary’s freedom from Russia. Antall wants to end the Warsaw Pact and to join NATO. After the meeting ends, Antall finds out that Gorbachev has instructed Russia to stop distributing oil into Hungary. As a result, Antall is forced to increase the gas prices by 60%.
The immediate response from the taxi drivers is to protest. And their tactic is to block all streets and bridges across key areas in Budapest so that no one can enter and no one can leave.
This all lasts for four days.
The film tackles the fine line between democracy and anarchy. As Hungary was fighting for their freedom, the blockade that occurred within the country could be seen as the beginning of the end for the first freely-elected post-communist Hungarian government. It was the first serious test for the country’s fledgling democracy.
Blockade is a tense thriller moving back and forth between 1956 and 1990 as the country battles for their freedom and their autonomy. Led by great performances from Zoltan Seress and Attila Vidnyanszky the film perfectly captures the bargains and discussions occurring behind the scenes as Jozsef Antall tries to end the crisis and tries to lead Hungary into a new era.
“We all make mistakes. We’re learning how to be democratic.” Blockade is the incredible true story of a nation that was divided and a leader who united it.