Grab the popcorn, the January English-friendly movie guide is here! Cinemas around the city are screening films with English audio or subtitles, while the Budapest International Documentary Film Festival is running until February. Here’s what’s showing and where.
Along with American blockbusters and domestic films with English subtitles, the Budapest International Documentary Festival is taking place between 27 January and 2 February, with many features in English or with English subtitles. We have included a handful in this guide – the full list is extensive and can be found on the festival website.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
English with Hungarian subtitlesAllee, Aréna, Campona cinemas The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more, in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. Theatres around Budapest have been showing this epic since Christmas.
94 minutesAllee cinema English without subtitles
A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost, who dooms all those who enter with a violent death.
Free to Rock documentary
60 minutesAréna cinema English with Hungarian subtitles
One of the biggest rock festivals took place in the Soviet Union just before its collapse… Director Jim Brown takes us through music and the Cold War, and how rock’n’roll toppled a totalitarian regime. Comes to Budapest on 30 January.
English and Russian with English and Hungarian subtitlesAréna cinema This documentary presents the strange case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, he rocketed to prosperity and prominence in the 1990s, served a decade in prison, then became an unlikely martyr for the anti-Putin movement. From Oscar-winning writer/director Alex Gibney. Shows on 31 January.
Shooting the Mafia
Italian with English and Hungarian subtitlesAréna cinema Sicilian Letizia Battaglia began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first dared to point her camera at a brutally slain victim. A woman whose passions led her to ditch traditional family life and become a photojournalist, she found herself on the front lines during one of the bloodiest chapters in Italy’s recent history. Shooting the Mafia weaves together Battaglia’s striking black-and-white photographs, rare archival footage, classic Italian films, and the now 84-year-old’s own memories, to paint a portrait of a remarkable woman whose whose bravery and defiance helped expose the Mafia’s brutal crimes. Shows 31 January.
Hungarian with English subtitlesMűvész In the early ’70s, Fábián the vampire returns home to the People’s Republic of Hungary from the imperialist West, and immediately becomes a target of the Communist secret police.
Arabic with Hungarian and English subtitlesAréna cinema Oscar nominee Feras Fayyad (Last Men in Aleppo) delivers an unflinching story of the Syrian war with his powerful new documentary, The Cave. For besieged civilians, hope and safety lie underground, inside the subterranean hospital known as the Cave. Here paediatrician and managing physician Dr Amani Ballor and her colleagues Samaher and Dr Alaa have claimed their right to work as equals alongside their male counterparts, doing their jobs in a way that would be unthinkable in the oppressively patriarchal culture that exists above. Following the women as they contend with daily bombardments, chronic supply shortages and the ever-present threat of chemical attacks, The Cave paints a stirring portrait of courage, resilience and female solidarity. Shows 31 January.
Arabic with English and Hungarian subtitlesAréna cinema When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee the country with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing the family’s journey first-hand, Fazili documents their harrowing trek across numerous borders, revealing the danger and uncertainty facing refugees seeking asylum juxtaposed with the unbreakable love shared among the family on the run. Shows 31 January.
English with Hungarian subtitlesMűvész, Puskin, Toldi cinemas Incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together, starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.
Korean with English and Hungarian subtitlesAréna cinema Junha (11) is the most difficult child at school. His autism causes him to attack his classmates and sometimes even teachers without warning. Consequently, invisible curtains grow around him. Each outburst further isolates Junha from his small community, as his teachers and peers struggle to find a way to deal with him. Junha’s Planet is a documentary that attempts to listen into the melody echoing from deep within the tiny universe of its protagonist. Shows 28 January.
Turkish with English and Hungarian subtitlesAréna cinema In a deserted Macedonian village, Hatidze, a 50-something woman, trudges up a hillside to check her bee colonies nestled in the rocks. Serenading them with a secret chant, she gently manoeuvres the honeycomb without netting or gloves. Back at her homestead, Hatidze tends to her handmade hives and her bedridden mother, occasionally heading to the capital to market her wares. One day, an itinerant family installs itself next door, and Hatidze’s peaceful kingdom gives way to seven shrieking children and 150 cows. Yet Hatidze welcomes the camaraderie, and she holds nothing back – not her tried-and-true beekeeping advice, nor her affection, nor her special brandy. But soon Hussein, patriarch of the neighbouring family, makes a series of decisions that could destroy Hatidze’s way of life forever.
English with Hungarian subtitlesAllee, Aréna, Westend, Művész, Puskin, Tabán ArtMozi, and Toldi cinemas A detective investigates the death of the patriarch of an eccentric, combative family. Features a star-studded cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis.