Budapest

Fiction

Fatelessness, Imre Kertész, 1975
The Nobel Prize–winner’s semi-autobiographical account of a young Hungarian’s experience at Auschwitz.

The Radetzky March, Joseph Roth, 1932
Roth details the life of three generations of the Trotta family, which he uses to chronicle the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The Paul Street Boys, Ferenc Molnár, 1907
Hungarian Molnár addresses the larger topic of war through his tale of two sparring groups of schoolboys in Budapest in the late 1880s.

Under the Frog, Tibor Fischer, 1993
Set during the turbulent years following the end of WWII and before the anti-Soviet uprising in 1956, Fischer’s debut novel follows the escapades of two Hungarian basketball players.

Nonfiction

The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism, Tina Rosenburg, 1995
This series of personal stories details life in post- Communist Eastern Europe.

Castles Burning: A Child’s Life in War, Magda Denes, 1997
Narrated by a nine-year-old Denes, this is a riveting tale of a child struggling to comprehend and describe her experience in hiding during the Holocaust in Budapest.

Films

Red Sparrow, Francis Lawrence, 2018
Jennifer Lawrence stars in this thriller about a Soviet spy assigned to Budapest. Much of the movie was filmed on location in Hungary.

Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve, 2017
The latest in the science fiction series features Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford and was shot in Budapest. The city’s Stock Exchange Palace is featured as a casino.

Children of Glory, Krisztina Goda, 2006
A dramatized account of the bloody, real-life battle between the Russian and Hungarian water polo teams during the 1956 Olympics—the same year as the Hungarian Uprising.

Sunshine, István Szabó, 2000
Ralph Fiennes stars as the central figure in three generations of a Jewish family living in the early- to mid-20th century.

Gloomy Sunday, Rolf Schuebel, 1999
This German film tells a story of love and tragedy set in Budapest in the 1930s.

The Last Days, James Moll, 1999
This Academy Award–winning documentary tells the stories of five Hungarian Jews and their experience during the Holocaust.

Music Box, Costa-Gavras, 1989
Jessica Lange plays an attorney defending her father, an Austro-Hungarian accused of war crimes, in this thrilling drama.

The Witness, Péter Bacsó, 1969
Addressing the 1956 revolution at a time when it was not yet discussed publicly, this Hungarian satire film was banned after its release, despite being funded by Communist authorities. It later aired at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.

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