When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
It would be very hard to find anything more absurd and nonsensical than the Hungarian army of the Socialist era. Face and About-Face recounts the unique experience of the one-year compulsory army service that young men who had been admitted to college or university had to complete before starting their studies.
Captivity was a conscious emigration into the great events of a great era. Our world here, the world we were socialised into, is a small and shabby world. Being part of a small nation is usually not favourable for great prose and drama.
"GYŐZŐ: Pest, the big smoke, is full of labouring proles, / Juicy with gossip about us on the hill. / Down there the streets are cordoned off. Cops know / They need not cordon streets off up in Buda.
KÁLMÁN: I’m faintly aware of a sickening distant buzz: / Here we go again: they’re burning cars. / Here we go again: uproot that call-box. / Here we go again: the piercing sirens. / Here we go again: streets full of teargas."
To sell ourselves to the Western media as political refugees would have been out of style. Therefore, we wore Russian military uniforms with our punk hairdos and talked about being highly trained KGB agents sent to the free world to destroy the morals of the Western youth.