Videos by Peter Forgacs | Chicago Reader

Videos by Peter Forgacs

Hungarian film and video artist Peter Forgacs has called himself a “patchwork maker,” and each of these two videos presents a dense and thought-provoking quilt of images, superimposed texts, voice-over readings, and music, the meaning of the images shifting with their context. Free Fall (1996, 75 min., also known as Free Fall Oratorio) uses home movies that the Jewish owner of a lottery business in southern Hungary began making in 1937. Titles identify the people on-screen while a voice-over intones the increasingly harsh anti-Jewish laws instituted in Hungary; as the tape progresses, more and more family members (including a newborn baby) are identified by the date and location of their eventual murder, until the family history has become a Holocaust documentary. Kadar's Kiss . . . (1997, 45 min.) wryly mixes amateur erotic images with shots of communist ruler Janos Kadar kissing Leonid Brezhnev in welcome.

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