Across Cultures

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Watch 60 films, 170 excerpts and over 80 archival artefacts selected by NFB specialists as part of this unique project.

Travel Damaging to Public Interest

Travel Damaging to Public Interest
2003, director: Eva Pataki

Film (50:20)


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> European Canadians | Adolescents | Marriage | Hungarian Canadians | Eastern bloc | Social integration | Identity

  Description     The film  
Kriszta and Laci were born not long after the Soviets invaded Hungary in 1956. They were in high school when they met and fell in love. Laci was a rebel whose love of rock and roll and flared trousers was enough to make his teachers loathe him.

When school was over, Laci escaped via Yugoslavia. Hungarians who wanted to travel outside the Soviet bloc could apply for tourist visas, but the response was often negative. Especially for people like Kriszta, whose crime was simply falling in love with a defector. Every year she applied for a passport and received the same reply: "Travel is damaging to public interest."

Seven years later, Laci, by then a Canadian, visited Hungary. He and Kriszta decided to marry. She left Budapest, not driven by a yearning for adventure, but for love.

Laci's amateur films made in the 1970s help recall the period. Their Canadian-born children, along with their Hungarian-born family and friends, also contribute to this highly personal story.