Considering it was one of the absolute highlights of last year’s Berlinale, taking home the Jury Grand Prix, it’s shameful that it has taken this long for Just the Wind (original title: csak a szél ) to finally hit cinemas in Germany.
In terms of cinematic portrayals of Romani people, it is one of the best and also one of the most uncompromising. Based on a series of violent attacks against Romani that occurred in Hungary between 2008 and 2009, the film depicts a day in the life of one family living in a squalid woodland community that has been plunged into a state of acute panic after the brutal murder of five families which the authorities are all too happy to ignore.
Employing increasingly oppressive cinematography, Just the Wind builds up to a stupefying climax rendered no less horrifying by the fact that there’s never any doubt about the film’s inevitable conclusion. Just the Wind’s most commendable feature is its unwavering refusal to embellish its characters, instead embracing negative stereotypes for the specific purpose of underlining the humanity they are systematically denied.
Just the Wind | Directed by Benedek Fliegauf (Hungary, Germany, France 2012) with Katalin Toldi, Gyöngyi Lendvai. Starts July 18
Originally published in issue #118, July/August.