Judgement in Hungary

The chamber drama of a murder trial

Directed by Eszter Hajdú | Produced by Sandor Mester

Judgement in Hungary

In 2008 and 2009, a group of Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of random attacks on members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a child, and five were injured

The trial of the four accused lasted two-and-a-half years, and the verdict was passed in August 2013.

Director Eszter Hajdú filmed the trial and condensed it to create an oppressive “Kammerspielfilm” starring the cold-blooded suspects, an irritable judge and the victims’ families. Without commentary, the film depicts the drawn-out and at times chaotic trial from the cramped public gallery. A small static camera shows the judge’s point of view, while closeups highlight the emotions of the people touched by the crime. Sometimes we see the protagonists outside the courtroom, for example during the reconstruction at the crime scene.

At the start of the trial, the victims and their families assume justice will be done, and have faith that the Hungarian authorities will protect them. But will the extremists be found guilty? Ingrained anti-Roma sentiment in Hungary, and the bungling (intentional or otherwise) on the part of the police give them reason to fear they will not.


Judgement in Hungary premiered at IDFA 2013. Find out more about further screenings.


Open City Docs Fest, UK, Grand Jury Prize 2014
Central European Initiative Award, Trieste Film Festival 2014


Nick Barlay, CEEL