Sandor Sara


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Sandor Sara (1933) debuted with the documentary Viragat a Napnak/ The Flower and the Sun (1960), which demonstrated his lyrical cinematography. He photographed Istvan Gaal’s films Palyamunkasok/ Surfacemen (1957) and Oda-vissza/ To and Fro (1962), as well as Zoltan Huszarik’s short Groteszk/ Grotesque (1963), Istvan Szabo's Apa/ Father (1966), and Ferenc Kosa's Tizezer Nap/ Ten Thousand Days (1967).

He specialized in documentaries such as followed by Ciganyok/ Gypsies (1962), about the miserable conditions of the Hungarian gypsies, Egyedul/ Solitude (1963), Vízkereszt/ Twelfth Night (1967) and the anti-war Pro Patria (1970).

He debuted as director with the historical drama Feldobott Ko/ The Upthrown Stone (1968), written by Sandor Csoori and Ferenc Kosa (the duo who had just collaborated on Ferenc Kosa's Tizezer Nap), Holnap Lesz Phacan/ Tomorrow will be a Pheasant (1974), adapted the satirical from Sandor Csoori's play, and another historical drama, 80 Hussards (1978), written by Csoori.

He also photographed Zoltan Huszarik’s Sinbad (1971), Istvan Szabo's Tuzolto Utca 25/ 25 Firemen St (1973), and Laszlo Ranody’s Nobody’s Daughter (1976).

He coldly documented the humiliating defeat of the Hungarian army during World War II in the eight-hour Pergotuz/ Drumfire (1982), derived from a 25-episode TV movie, Kronika/ Chronicle (1982), of interviews with survivors and witnesses.

His documentaries explored topics that were suppressed under communism, such as the expulsion of the Hungarian minority (the Szekelys) from Romania in Sir az ut Elottem/ The Road before Me Weeps (1987), and the deportation of Hungarian men to Soviet labor camps in Csonka-Bereg/ Mutilated Bereg (1988). He contributed to the fall of communism by investigating events that had been removed from the historical record and presenting the cruelty of communism via archival footage.

Babolna (1985) in seven episodes is about the peasant revolt led in 1437 by Janos Kardos.

After the fall of communism he made the documentaries Magyar Nok a Gulagon/ Hungarian Women in the Gulag (1992) and Lefegyverzett Ellenseges Erok/ Prisoners of War (1992).

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