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The Smallest Foundation of the World
(A világ legkisebb alapítványa)
(1997, feature, 35mm, colour, 85 min.)
Director of photography:
Budapest Film Studio
In a small village not far from Budapest there is a dog farm where stray dogs can find shelter. The farm was established by two women not long ago. Almost out of nothing they created a place which provides shelter for 150-200 dogs. The two women were the wives of two Hungarian politicians, both husbands were the victims of politics. Countess Zsófia’s husband was forced to leave the country, the other woman’s husband was called to a people’s tribunal by the communist government after 1945. Following a mock trial, he was sentenced to death and executed. After the downfall of the Stalinist regime they acknowledged his innocence, but only later he was honoured with a spectacular state funeral. With the money given to them by the remorseful government, the two women establish ”the smallest foundation in the world” and the money translates into hot food and shelter for the hunted, runaway stray dogs. Next to the two women we see a little boy, the ten-year-old son of the executed man, who is always following a few steps behind the arguing women. He doesn’t even suspect that he is the subject of their ever-lasting arguments. To the countess’ minds, the son’s fate is politics and it’s their duty to prepare the future politician for his task. On the other hand the boy’s mother wants to protect her son and she is even willing to hide the past from him. The film is about losing illusions. When one of the dogs attacks an innocent child the two women have to face the failure of their efforts. ”Animals are just the same as men” they say. They rely on charity forever and for a short moment they wake up from the nightmares of the past and find their way to the present.