Torn from the Flag

Endre Hules

Writer, director, associate producer

Documentary, 96 min., 2007

Englsh, Hungarian, Russian, Italian

Torn from the Flag

The uprising nobody wanted, started as a peaceful demonstration on October 23, 1956 in Budapest. Hungary. By nightfall people from all walks of life fought Soviet tanks with stolen rifles and homemade bombs. Within days, a new democracy was born in the heart of the Communist Block. But the days of freedom would be few. The world ignored the Hungarians' pleas for recognition and help, practically inviting a bloody Soviet retaliation. Thousands died. Quarter of a million escaped.

However, the brutal repression revealed the profound hypocrisy of the "People's State." It discredited the Soviet System from within, stopped the advance of Communist ideology in the West and initiated a process that culminated three decades later in the downfall of the Berlin Wall, the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact, and the demise of the Soviet Union.

This feature-length documentary, chronicles the spellbinding drama in the historical context, exploring various points of views: the revolutionaries, the Soviet troops and Secret Police men all have their say, as well as historians, politicians and biographers from all sides, among them Henry Kissinger, Otto von Habsburg and a number of heads of state. The film was shot by Laszlo Kovacs ASC and Zoltán Honti. Academy Award winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and Lászlo Kovács executive produced and mentored the project. They both contributed with archival footage they had shot themselves during the Uprising.