I had a Hungarian grandmother, so the topics that are covered during Hunky Blues are tremendously interesting to me. This documentary, directed by Péter Forgács, showcases the unique experience of Hungarian immigrants to the United States. To showcase the first-hand materials that ey has found, Forgács presents viewers with footage culled from the Library of Congress, different members of the New Jersey Hungarian community, and even from the museum on Ellis Island. Hunky Blues is specifically focused during the time period between 1890 and 1921, which marked the highest amount of Hungarian immigration to the United States.
Hunky Blues will be seen as interesting by anyone that has Hungarian family, but also for those individuals that wish to see what the United States was like in centuries past. There have been a number of different documentaries about the immigration process, but I feel that Hunky Blues shows viewers a much more indepth and intricate story than has been presented in the past. The research resources employed by Forgács in Hunky Blues are without criticism; these sources should be seen as what subsequent filmmakers should aspire to when creating their films.
The 100 minute runtime is largely the reason for this, as there is not the sense of rushing or incompleteness that is normally present with documentaries clipped for the hour format. Check out Forgács’s works in the next few years; I believe that ey will be able to do some tremendous stuff with each type of topic that ey tackles. Check out the upcoming releases for FACETS in the months to come; the rest of 2011 is chock full of different documentaries and other films that can be enjoyed in the brisk air conditioning of a meeting room or an apartment.
Hunky Blues (DVD) / 2011 FACETS / 100 Minutes / http://www.facets.org