Red reports: the evolution of a Hungarian newsreel collection

Barkóczi, Janka (2020) Red reports: the evolution of a Hungarian newsreel collection. Studies in Eastern European Cinema, 11 (2). pp. 140-156. DOI

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A nyílt hozzáférést az EISZ és a kiadó között létrejött "Read and Publish" szerződés biztosította. Open access was provided "Read and Publish" contract between EIS and the publisher.


The silent weekly newsreel series Vörös Riport-Film/Red Report-Film was published by the leftist revolutionary regime of Hungary’s Republic of Councils in 1919. With the distribution of a total of twenty episodes, the medium of cinema emerged as a tool of state propaganda in Hungary for the first time. In this paper, the collection of Red Reports is offered as an illustrative case for examining the varied use and interpretation of the very same footage at different institutions over several decades. The analysis posits that the subsequent development of the collection is not only interesting due to the historical significance, but it also demonstrates how easily the status of archival material can change under unstable socio-political circumstances such as those in Eastern Europe. Taking up recent scholarship emphasising the storiedness and broken structure of the archival institutions, I will argue that the present-day understanding of the collection cannot be extricated from prior archival meanings that have strongly shaped the descriptive context and metadata. Consequently, the archival status of the films can be seen as an ongoing process of negotiation, which, in turn, has significant ramifications for how national and regional history has been understood and interpreted over the past century.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:newsreel collections, archives in unstable socio-political environment, archives and memory, Hungarian film history and politics, (post)socialism
Subjects:Culture, sport
ID Code:5632
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:23 Apr 2020 18:32
Last Modified:12 Dec 2020 17:53

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