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  • Budapest Architecture Film Days 2023

    Text: Mária Tatai
    Photos: Kortárs Építészeti Központ

    Organized since 2008, the annual film festival of the Centre for Contemporary Architecture is always a celebration: for a few days you can watch films about architecture and the built environment and meet friends in the bustling Toldi cinema. This year was a double birthday: Budapest is 150 years old and the festival is 15 years old. Traditionally, the topics are wide-ranging, this year with a special focus on urban architecture and urban life. The strict laws of globalism tend to cause similar problems in parts of the world near and far, and it is interesting to see both the devastating consequences and the fine examples. The professional and private discussions after the films provided an opportunity to survey the parallels with Budapest.
    Making a neighbourhood or quarter more liveable is a struggle everywhere. But sometimes it works out: we have seen fine examples in Stockholm and New York City. In An Other City (director: Rasmus Wærn, 2021), we followed architect Jan Inghe (1944-2005), and in Citizen Jane – Battle for the City (director: Matt Tyrnauen, 2017), we followed the plans, struggles and achievements of American writer and activist Jane Jacobs. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (director: Chad Freidrichs, 2011) sheds new light on the story of the infamous American housing project. Life, Assembled (director: Élodie Degavre, 2022) is a fascinating take on experimental architecture. This year’s opening film (Best in the World, directed by Hans Cristian Post, 2022) focuses on the model city of Copenhagen, which, while offering an idyllic view of the potentials of urban life, reveals that this “best place” is for the wealthy. And Push to Talk (directed by Fredrik Gertten, 2019) specifically addresses the burning issus of housing problems in cities around the world, following the work of UN envoy Leilani Farha.