Vilmos Zsigmond is Hungary’s American hero
26. 02. 2016.
At a commemorative event for the recently deceased Academy Award-winner Vilmos Zsigmond at Budapest’s Vigadó Concert Hall on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the cinematographer had stayed true to what he always was: a Hungarian revolutionary, a loyal son of Hungary and “our American hero”.

The Prime Minister said that, as fate would have it, the exhibition opening fell on the Memorial Day for the Victims of Communism. He said that Vilmos Zsigmond had also been driven from his country by dictatorship; at the same time, he is among those we can thank for the freedom in which we can now jointly pay our respects.

“Our respect is due to those brave people who recorded in writing, photographs, the moving image, paintings or sculptures – in other words, in the language of the arts – all that which the communist dictatorship even sought to erase the memory of”, Mr. Orbán said.

He continued by saying that, while in November 1956 the Hungarians’ freedom fight was defeated by an enemy which greatly outnumbered them, documented experience – including the footage shot by Vilmos Zsigmond and his colleagues – has won its own battle against oblivion and the falsification of history. “The life of Vilmos Zsigmond is only in part a Hollywood story; seen as a whole, it is a pure Hungarian film”, said the Prime Minister in his eulogy to the cinematographer who scored success after success in the United States, but who after 1990 was an ever more frequent visitor to Hungary.

In addition to members of Vilmos Zsigmond’s family, the event was attended by President of the Constitutional Court Barnabás Lenkovics, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog, President of the Hungarian Academy of Arts György Fekete, and President of the State Audit Office László Domokos.