From internationally celebrated Hungarian film director Béla Tarr (pulled from an mass e-mail sent from the CUNY listserv):
“To One and All,
I would like to call your attention to the desperate situation Hungarian film finds itself in. The Hungarian government has decided to eliminate the democratic structure for film support in place for the last twenty years and introduce autocratic control, which once again may foreloom the era of censorship.
I, together with my colleagues ask you to show your solidarity by signing our declaration, thus expressing your protest.
With thanks and friendly regards, in the name of all of us,
P.S. Tilda Swinton, Hanna Schygulla, Gus van Sant, Aki Kaurismaki, Carlos Reycadas, Cristian Mungiu, Shozo Ichiyama, Amat Escalante, Alfonso Cuaron, Ulrich and Erika Gregor have already signed.’
The erasure of the democratic structure and support for the arts in Hungary is not however restricted to cinema. Film scholar Yvette Biro explained that “the whole new savagely conservative government acts, in all possible domains, against the law and starts creating true autocratic dictatorship. The UE started, timidly, raising its voice regarding a–shameful—Media-decree, willing to punish all oppositional voices…”
This then concerns all of the arts and the potential violent suppression and silencing of alternative voices. Bela Tarr will use the Berliniale Film Festival to call attention to this crisis.
Letters of protest should be sent to the UE parliament and all other relevant European institutions. For addresses, see below.
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
Rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat
B- 1047 Brussels – Belgium
Tel: (32-2) 284 21 11
Fax: (32-2) 284 69 74
(32-2) 230 69 33
Allée du Printemps
F-67070 Strasbourg Cedex – France
Tel: (33) 3 88 17 40 01
Fax: (33) 3 88 25 65 01 (WIC)
(33) 3 88 17 49 60
Plateau du Kirchberg
Tel: (352) 43 00-1
Fax: (352) 43 00 294 94 (KAD)
(352) 43 00 293 93 (SCH)
(352) 43 00 292 92 (ADG)