Blockade (2022) Movie Script

1956. An Eastern European country
is fighting for freedom
against the oppressive Soviet Empire.
The fight for freedom fails.
Hungary remains under foreign rule.
The Soviet Empire is weakening.
The countries of Eastern
Europe hold free elections.
The democratically elected
Hungarian prime minister
travels to Moscow to negotiate
Hungarian freedom.
I am Jzsef Antall
and I will be your class teacher.
I am Jzsef Antall.
I will be teaching literature
and history.
- May I have an aspirin?
- Of course.
Is this your first time
flying to Moscow?
- Yes, and of my own free will!
Let's hope I don't end up
like Malter in Tkl.
Pl Malter?
When did you take your
final exams, dear... your name...?
- Yvette.
- Yvette.
- Two years ago.
That wasn't that long ago...
1956, remember?
So in 1956...
- Your boss is flirting.
- ...Hungary wanted to pull out
of the Warsaw Pact...
There was fighting
against the Soviets.
The Soviets ensnared Malter,
a military commander...
- ...and they killed him.
- He's not flirting, he's teaching.
- In Tkl.
- The Soviets won and we're still
members of the Warsaw Pact.
- Against our will.
- So this is my first trip to Moscow
and I'm determined
to win this time.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
- Goodbye.
- No "good luck"?
- Good luck, Mr. President!
- Uncle rpi.
- Uncle rpi.
- Where are they taking us?
- Siberia.
All I ask is that you
don't force it.
- What? - That we want to
leave the Warsaw Pact.
- But we do. We've wanted to
for thirty-five years.
- Jska! These are the Russians.
Don't rile them up.
- Why?
Will they send in the tanks?
- May I start?
All I would like to say is
that every time I see you,
Mr. Gorbachev,
your eyes are always smiling.
That's how I know you're
a good person.
- The president is a writer.
- I see.
- My message is more
prosaic than that.
You, General Secretary,
have mentioned that the Warsaw Pact
needs to be reformed.
We believe it's not reform
but complete
revision that it needs.
- What do you mean by revision?
- Ultimately, its dissolution.
- Are you suggesting that
both the Warsaw Pact
and NATO should be dissolved?
I suggest we join NATO together.
Hungary, Czechoslovakia,
Poland and the Soviet Union.
All of us. Let NATO be a new
pan-European security system.
- The Soviet Union and Hungary
are connected by a thousand ties.
The defence industry, trade,
culture, natural gas, oil.
It would be a mistake
to discard all of this.
So either both are dissolved,
or neither.
- I know that prestige
is important to the Soviet Union.
But if you ended the Warsaw Pact,
it would be less of a loss
of prestige than if...
By voluntarily giving up
the Warsaw Pact,
we'd send the message
that the Soviet Union
can no longer keep
even its friends.
- But if friends quit of their own,
that message is worse.
- I know of no country
that wants to withdraw
from the Warsaw Pact.
- But there is such a country.
- I'm certain.
- Well...
That country would be
on its own.
- This will not do, Jska,
that you don't give a fig about
what your president tells you.
- Did I say a word about
us withdrawing?
- Did I tell him to apologise?
- Why should he?
- For 1956.
- Have we won?
- We've driven the first nail
into the coffin of the Warsaw Pact.
- The question is at what price.
- You went to Moscow like this?
- I thought it'd go away.
- You should've shown this earlier.
- Why? What is it?
A lymph node?
- It's as big as a lemon.
- Is it malignant?
- It must be operated on.
- You see, that's why
I didn't come earlier.
- You need to have a biopsy.
- I knew you'd want
something like this.
- Next week?
- September's no good.
Local elections.
- October?
- I'm off to Washington.
- What about when you're back?
I have to make a speech
on 23 October.
I don't have time to be unwell.
- The second round of the national
local elections held on Sunday
was won by the main
opposition party,
the Alliance of Free Democrats.
The ruling Hungarian
Democratic Forum came second
with 30.3% and Fidesz came
third with 23.6%.
- The Hungarian Democratic Forum
has lost a battle,
but it'll win the war.
- The US Secretary of Defense says
the United States will continue
to deploy troops
to the Gulf region.
The latest developments have caused
oil prices to rise again
on the international
free markets.
- Behind me is the helicopter
carrying Hungarian Prime Minister
Jzsef Antall and his entourage
as they arrive
in the capital of the United States.
- Bush described the visit
of the first freely elected
Hungarian prime minister
to the US as a historic event.
- Seems like the Soviets
turned off the oil.
- What do you mean
they turned it off?
- Good morning.
- No oil is coming
from the Russkies.
- Since when?
- Midnight.
- Allegedly, it's a malfunction.
- How much do we have in reserve?
- Enough for four, five days.
- Forty-five?
Four or five.
- If we don't get oil from
the Russkies, we must buy some
from Iraq or the Romanians.
- The problem is that
they're selling it for dollars.
- And we don't have any.
- Let's take out a loan.
- The World Bank wouldn't allow it.
The annual deficit
could be ten billion.
Russian petrol was cheap, that's why
we could sell it underpriced.
But if we buy petrol
at the market price...
- We have to make people
pay the market price too.
- A price increase?
- If we raise the price of petrol,
we can maintain the deficit target.
- What's the difference between
the official and the market price?
- Sixty percent.
- The Czechs have just
doubled their price,
and the public swallowed it.
Even sixty percent is a lot.
- Thirty now, thirty in January.
- I think we should do it in one go.
Because, if we run out of petrol,
there will be chaos,
just like in Romania.
- How much time do we need
for the transition?
- At least three days,
and Tuesday is a public holiday.
- So?
Thursday midnight.
In one step, sixty percent.
- This is an unprecedented
price increase.
We must make people understand,
make them accept
that this is necessary.
- Balzs, you announce it.
- Prime Minister,
you must announce it.
- That won't work. I'll be in
hospital from Tuesday to Sunday.
Balzs will deputise.
Nothing serious.
- Then you must record it.
Shoot it on Tuesday,
broadcast it on Wednesday.
- Talk to Hankiss.
Thank you.
Countrymen! Hungarians!
The country is in
a catastrophic state.
Our technology is wasteful,
our vehicle fleet is obsolete.
We consume more than necessary.
We did not inherit any reserves
from the previous government,
only debts.
The Soviet Union
is not shipping petrol.
As a result of the Gulf War,
world market prices have doubled,
causing an emergency
in our energy management.
Our political opponents
are accusing us...
- Does he mean the Alliance
of Free Democrats?
- ...of having bad relations
with our Eastern neighbour,
which is why we are
not receiving any oil.
I wish to reassure them
that in the last few days
neither Czechoslovakia,
nor Poland has received
any oil from the Soviet Union.
- Is this party propaganda?
- The prime minister
is addressing the nation.
How could that be
party propaganda?
Petrol prices must be
freed from official pricing,
and must be adjusted
to the world market price.
This is the only way
to avert a crisis.
- This morning, Prime Minister
Jzsef Antall paid his respects
to the victims
of the 1956 revolution
at plot number 301
in the Rkoskeresztr cemetery.
- I'm not going to be
at home this week.
I have a lymph node under my
armpit. I'm going to have surgery.
- Promise me
you'll think about it.
- About what?
- About taking off a few months.
- Out of the question.
- At least think about it.
For my sake.
- Are you starting to feel drowsy?
- No.
- Think of something nice.
- Swap!
- Sorry.
- Turn in!
- Finally a woman
who knows how to dance.
- Lean back!
Juho Kusti Paasikivi.
- What?
- Juho Kusti Paasikivi.
Prime minister of Finland.
He signed a bilateral treaty
with the Soviet Union.
It is also a mutual aid agreement,
but very cleverly done,
outside Comecon.
The Finns remain neutral.
They don't accept Marshall aid
and they don't join NATO.
In return, the Russians
leave them alone.
We'd need something like that, too.
- My father says the Russkies
will always be here.
"In love and in politics,
there is no such thing as always
and there is no
such thing as never."
Who said that?
French politician.
- You should become a teacher.
Don't look back.
- We're being followed.
- By whom?
I'm being watched.
Because of my father.
- I'm going to kiss you now.
- Was that absolutely necessary?
- Absolutely.
I am Jzsef Antall.
I will be teaching you...
I am Jzsef Antall.
I will be your class teacher.
I am Jzsef Antall.
I will be your class teacher.
I will be teaching literature
and history.
You won't be needing those.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
- Jzsef Antall Jr., new teacher
at Etvs Secondary School.
Son of Jzsef Antall Sr.,
former minister
of the Independent
Smallholder's Party.
Twenty-three years old, married.
His entire disposition is bourgeois,
a middle-class vestige.
He teaches history from
a bourgeois perspective as well.
- Who invented the steam engine?
- Somlai...
- Ivan Polzunov!
- Who?
- Ivan Polzunov. It says so here.
- Nonsense!
Not every invention should be
attributed to a Soviet scientist.
He makes no effort to arouse
enthusiasm for socialism in his pupils.
He does not draw conclusions;
he leaves it up to the pupils.
But they are not yet mature enough.
According to his colleagues:
- He's able.
- Resolute but humble.
- He's a good organiser.
But he rarely uses this
in a positive way.
- Polite.
- Prudent.
- A reliable colleague.
- Quite nationalistic.
- He's incapable of delivering
a lesson which is suitable
for educating the youth
of the people's democracy.
- I've had to talk to him
several times.
- He has this weird,
hedgehog-like stance.
He told me it was because
he's had a lot of bad experiences.
- One of his pupils said:
- Extra caution is required
to keep him under surveillance
as he frequently uses
- "Because, where tyranny is,
Everything is in vain,
Every creation, even this
Poem I sing turns vain,
Because it is standing
From the first at your grave,
Your own biography branding,
And even your ashes are its slave."
- Jzsef Antall Jr. seeks
a capitalist restoration,
and won't abstain
from using armed force.
- What makes you think that?
- He organised war games
for the school in the Buda hills.
- War games?
- "Number war", Comrade Captain.
"Dangerous, keep watching him!"
- What day is it today?
- Friday. You've slept
for a whole day.
I have some bad news.
- My arm's been cut off.
- Bring the telephone, too.
- There is an unprecedented emergency
in the capital's transport system
due to the petrol strike.
- Yesterday's price increase...
- Can you see?
- ...has led to taxi drivers
blocking bridges in Budapest
and the airport.
Although public transport vehicles
are carrying passengers,
they can't get through
the blockades.
Hearing the news,
many people stayed at home,
but those who had to go walked.
- Hello, you're on foot?
- How else?
This cripples hundreds of thousands
of tradesmen,
and through them
the entire population.
- There are half as many
passengers as last year.
And if we raise our rates again?
How many will be left? Eh?
- This is a bad decision,
the government should withdraw it.
Taxi drivers only allow emergency
vehicles through the blockades.
This blockade is the work
of a narrow elite.
If they don't stop it by noon,
the government will use
all legal means to restore order.
- How long do you think the capital
can be kept under blockade?
- I don't think it can be kept
under blockade.
In just a few hours,
there could be consequences
which we haven't even
thought of.
Nothing like this has ever happened
in the history of Budapest.
- The one time I go on sick leave,
the world falls apart.
- When did it start?
- Hankiss called me on Wednesday.
- I've thought about it.
This is party propaganda.
Indeed it is.
And I will only allow it
to be broadcast
if the president is also given
the same length of time to speak,
on the principle
of political balance.
- What does Gncz have to do
with the price increase?
- What do I have to do
with the price increase?
Gncz didn't make a speech.
So your speech didn't air either.
Instead, the spokeswoman
for the Ministry of Industry
was interviewed in the evening news.
- We do not have any information
on the news of the price increase,
nor on its size.
- Poor Mrs. Kardos couldn't say
anything else as we told her that...
- The news was to be held back
until Thursday noon.
- Next day,
following communications protocol,
it was she who announced
the price increase.
The retail price of the
86 octane petrol will be 56 forints.
- People stormed
the petrol stations...
And the taxi drivers parliament.
- We are gathered here
to demand that the government
withdraw the petrol price
increase with immediate effect.
Because not only are there
20,000 private taxi drivers
in Budapest and about
80,000 private hauliers
and truckers in the country,
but there are ten million people
in Hungary
who won't be able to make a living!
- That's right!
- Yes!
- Good evening. Good evening.
Csaba Sikls, Minister of Transport.
- Convene the government!
Revoke the price rise!
- Withdrawal would lead
to exigent circumstances.
He called us excrement!
- The bastard!
- I said "exigent"!
- Let's occupy the bridges!
- Let's occupy the bridges!
Good morning.
You don't have to go
to school today.
The taxi drivers are protesting.
- Are we going to protest, too?
- No, son,
- they are protesting against us.
- Against us?
- Jska! How are you?
- Balzs, it's almost
past ten o'clock.
The taxi drivers have been
on the streets for 16 hours now.
What are we doing about it?
Why have we not intervened?
- Honestly, I thought
they'd go home.
It was extremely cold last night.
And the police chief also believed
it unnecessary to intervene.
- That was a mistake. Yesterday
we still could have done something.
- We are just discussing
with the guys what can
and what cannot be done
under the law of assembly.
- Is Boross there?
- I will put you
on the speaker phone.
- It's me, Prime Minister.
- Did we see this coming?
- No, we didn't.
- Spontaneous occurrence?
- It can't be ruled out
that it's spontaneous.
- Knya? What does the law say?
- Legally, a demonstration
must be notified
three days in advance.
It wasn't notified,
therefore it's unlawful.
- They couldn't have notified it
as the increase
wasn't known about then.
- True, but even if it's spontaneous,
it's still unlawful.
I don't know if you saw that
the full width of the road was blocked.
- I did. - Now that is a
crime against road safety,
and could involve a violation
of personal freedom,
and even an interference
with the functioning of public works.
- And if the police detect a crime,
they are obliged to take action.
You are right,
something has to be done,
because people want to go to work.
May I speak?
- This is police chief Sndor Barna.
- I'm listening.
- Prime Minister, in my thirty years
as a policeman,
there have only been
small demonstrations,
but there hasn't been such
a spontaneous
mass demonstration
since 1956.
And we all know
how that ended.
Can we perhaps consider
withdrawing the price increase?
- A city of two million
has been taken hostage.
We are being blackmailed.
If we give in now,
if we reverse our decision,
from tomorrow we will be
open to blackmail
in every petty matter.
And in that moment we'll fall.
And with that
democracy will fall, too.
- I will call you
if we achieve something.
I'm giving the taxi drivers drinks.
Feeding them too,
now that the government
is feeding us a line.
- In Vienna, there are 2,000 taxis.
In Budapest, 20,000.
Yet there are ever fewer passengers.
People can't afford taxis.
And if the price of petrol rises,
who'll have money for taxis?
- If the police ask,
we'll say we've broken down.
- All at the same time?
By chance?
- They're all lying.
Do they think we're that stupid?
They keep lying.
- They weren't authorised
to do that.
It's no use saying
they weren't authorised.
Did the people give permission
for such a price increase?
- Why don't you go home?
- What?
- You go home.
- Someone has to work.
- That's what we want to do.
- rpd Bridge is all good.
So far. Over.
- Well?
- The entire city is ours.
- Squad,
form a single line!
- We have a plan.
- I'm listening.
The army gave us some bloody
big cranes which we can use
- to push over the cars.
- And what if they resist?
What if they protect
the cars with their bodies?
What if they attack
the police officers on duty?
- We won't...
We won't shoot,
if that's what you're thinking.
It's just a show of force.
- Yesterday we still could have
dispersed the crowd.
Today it'd be risky.
- Then tell me what to do.
- Balzs, I'm locked in here,
confined to bed.
Under constitutional law,
I'm incapacitated.
You are there, you know
what's happening.
You are the interior minister.
You decide.
- We'll start clearing
rpd Bridge at noon.
- He didn't seem to be
on top of the situation.
- To be honest, I'm not really
on top of the situation either.
But luckily we have a president.
If Gncz addresses the country,
like Juan Carlos did in Spain,
there won't be any need
to disperse the protesters.
- Should I call him?
- Go and see him, talk to him.
- Let's try to cross
with flashing lights.
- Are you gonna shoot?
- No. No, we're not going to shoot.
- And if you get an order?
- We won't get such an order.
- A military convoy has just
gone passed me. - Copy that.
Troops are apparently
being dispatched.
They're already on their way.
- How are you, old boy?
- Do I look that bad?
- You're alone in a hospital room.
That's lucky.
- Arms, legs?
- Armpit.
- Right! Sorry,
I'm a little out of sorts.
They've just sent me
from the children's ward
because there aren't enough
nurses here.
You know,
they couldn't get across town.
- Because of the taxi drivers?
- Of course not!
Because of the lying government.
And because
of that arrogant Jska Antall.
- Arrogant?
- Isn't he? Like that cartoon
character, the cynical neighbour.
- Unlikeable.
- He is, isn't he?
- Why?
Is there anyone who's likeable?
Of course! Tomi Deutsch.
He's a really good-looking man.
And Uncle rpi is really sweet, too.
- What about Antall?
Is he a little sweet, too?
- Yeah... Just like
a funeral director.
Look at him, he has no feelings.
- Or maybe he's self-disciplined.
- Oh, my God!
How stupid I am!
Please, pass me the phone.
No problem at all.
- Hi Jska! I hear you're well.
- I'll survive.
- Listen, I'm calling to say that
I don't want to make a speech.
- I'm not going to intervene.
- Why?
Because the government
has made a bad decision.
Maybe it was a bad decision,
but it was lawful.
However, to take to the streets and
barricade bridges, that is unlawful.
- I'm not going to risk
my presidential authority.
- Just send them home
like Juan Carlos did.
You know, in Spain, in 1981
he sent the tanks home.
- But there are no tanks here,
only taxi drivers, truckers,
workers, pensioners.
You wouldn't see that
from your ivory tower.
"Though ships bob on the surface,
it is the water rules."
It's the people, Jska.
- And the people have
a democratically elected government.
And this government
was forced to make a decision,
because oil ceased to flow
from the Russians.
- As it was a bad decision,
you must withdraw it.
- We cannot revoke it.
The economy would collapse.
- Then suspend it...
- That's the same!
- ...and Parliament
will decide on Monday.
- If we suspend it, people will rush
to the petrol stations,
and all the petrol will run out
in a day.
- Suspend it, and the taxi drivers
will go home within three hours.
They have promised me.
- First, they go home,
then we can negotiate.
- Jska, don't be Creon.
Creon, Antigone.
You know: "The most important
part of true success..."
- " wisdom."
- Suspend it, otherwise
a revolution will break out.
- You are taking part
in an illegal demonstration.
Leave the area
in the direction of Buda.
Otherwise, the police will begin
to disperse the crowd.
- Should we leave the cars?
- Fuck them!
We are Hungarians,
not criminals!
- We're not criminals!
- We're Hungarians!
- We're Hungarians!
Command understood.
- The military convoy is turning back
on Rbert Kroly Ring Road.
- Are they turning back?
Do you hear that, Karcsi?
They're turning back!
- The convoy has turned back.
- On whose order?
- You must see this.
- I have just met with the president,
and would like to tell you
what I said to him.
The police will not use force
or violence against
the protesters.
If I have to resort to force,
I will resign.
- Squad, truncheons away!
In double file, move to the vehicles!
Fall out!
- They're leaving!
- The cops are leaving!
- The cops are with us!
They're leaving!
- The government made
a grave mistake when,
seeing the taxi drivers' protest,
it threatened to use violence.
- The government has failed!
- Resign!
- The country now needs
a competent government
that can win the trust
of the population.
- He's here!
- Gncz is coming!
- Hurray for Uncle rpi!
- I thought you were friends.
- Gncz is a writer.
And like all writers,
he can easily become overwrought.
He can reach extremes in a second,
believing that it's 1956 again
- and he's Imre Nagy.
- And you Ern Ger.
- He'd never deliberately
go against me.
- But his party went against you.
- The prime minister is bleeding,
and they smelled blood.
They won the battle of the
local elections
and now they want
to win the war.
That is their business.
Ours is not to let that happen.
We should move Balzs
into the background.
He's a good man but feckless.
Tams Szab and Rabr should
negotiate with the taxi drivers.
- I thought we will not give in
to blackmail.
- In love and in politics...
there is no such thing
as always
- and there is no such thing as never.
- You learnt that well, Somlai.
- From the start, it was decided
that the bus companies,
the railways, the police,
the fire brigade
and the ambulance service
should be fully compensated.
They would continue
to pay 32 forints for petrol.
The difference would be
paid by the state.
- That's what taxi drivers need, too.
- I've spoken to the boss.
- We are not negotiating
with the interior minister.
He wants to push us into the Danube.
- I don't mean Horvth.
I mean the big boss.
- Has he come round? - He's
fine and in control of the situation.
His offer is for us to split
the difference fifty-fifty.
- So of the 24 forints...
- The state will pay 12 forints
for the taxi drivers.
It's been a long day.
We're all tired.
I suggest we go home
because neither we nor you know
how long this peaceful protest
can remain peaceful.
- We'd like to discuss it
among ourselves.
- Come in!
- The taxi drivers have accepted
the government's offer.
They are signing it now.
- All the taxis
will go home within two hours.
- Thank God.
Although I have no idea
how we're going to pay for it.
- Sorry, I can't hear because...
- Hello?
- They're now saying
that they won't sign.
- Hello?
- Apparently, Gncz is going
to announce something.
- What's Gncz doing?
- Fellow countrymen,
An impasse has developed
in our country that has surpassed
the issue of the increase
in petrol prices
and the demands
of taxi drivers.
And because this crisis is
of a political nature,
it requires a political solution.
Thus I've called upon
the government
to suspend the price increase
with immediate effect.
- We cannot accept
the offer like that.
- Mr President...
You said you wouldn't interfere.
- I had to, you would've
opened fire otherwise.
- Opened fire?
What makes you think that?
- That every command
given must be carried out.
So if the command
says to arrest the taxi drivers,
of course, first they are asked
politely to leave.
But if they don't leave,
water cannon are deployed.
And if the water cannon
also have no effect,
the use of armed force
inevitably follows.
- That's nonsense.
Who said that?
- The police chief.
- Then you were deceived
because in a constitutional democracy
it is forbidden to use armed force
to disperse a crowd.
- It is supposedly
in the police code.
- The police does not fall
within your competence
but is under
the interior minister.
- The situation has outgrown
considering one's competence.
- No, Mr. President, the situation
can never outgrow the constitution.
Your role is to express
the unity of the nation,
- you cannot take one...
- Don't tell me what to do!
- ... side or the other.
- I'm the army's
- That does not entail the actual
right of command;
it's in the constitution.
- I've had enough of you being
the teacher, and me the stupid pupil!
My father also
used to lecture me all the time.
I can't help that you have
a father complex.
- I do not have a father complex.
I have a father phobia!
The minute I have to sit
in front of someone
and look up at them
with respect, I get the shivers.
Creon-type people, like you,
locked in their ivory towers...
- I am in hospital,
not in an ivory tower.
- That's not the point.
The point is that you have
no contact with people.
And you know why?
Because you think you are
smarter than everyone else.
rpd, is it you
or the Alliance of Free
Democrats saying these things?
- What's going on here?
What is that? Turn it around.
Gentlemen, this...
This is fantastic.
Sit down.
So you have also heard
that university students
are organising a protest.
I will be there.
Is there anyone among you
who would like to join me?
- Withdraw the Soviet troops!
Replace the Stalinist
and Rkosist criminals!
Hold Rkosi to account!
Russkies go home! Russkies go home!
Remove the statue of Stalin!
Russkies go home! Russkies go home!
Russkies go home! Russkies go home!
Russkies go home! Russkies go home!
- Fair general elections
with a secret ballot!
- Yes!
- Multiple party system!
- Yes!
- A new national assembly!
- Yes!
- The right to strike!
- Yes!
- We won't go home until our
demands are broadcast.
- That way!
Class! Class!
Come on!
Gentlemen, you're part
of history now.
This is not a game anymore,
go home.
- Run!
- What about you, Sir?
- I'm going back.
Run! Go on!
- Taxi drivers have blocked
the main transport nodes,
bridges and border crossing points
all round the country.
They have made the
truckers side with them as well.
- We're visiting grandma.
She's ill, poor thing,
waiting for us.
Get the hell out the way!
How long must we wait here?
Which is worth more?
A Trabant or a Lada?
Shall I drive into you,
for fuck's sake? Shall we test them?
Fuck off!
- Please help, doctor.
My wife is in labour.
- Hasn't intelligence
warned you?
Don't you get a sort of mood report?
Kdr received a report of the mood
in the country every morning.
- We've gone over
to democracy since then.
If you haven't noticed.
- It's not a democracy where everyone
does whatever they want.
That's anarchy.
How are you feeling?
- Like a lion in a cage.
- Did you manage to get some rest?
- No... But I don't mind.
At least I didn't have to worry
about myself in the meantime.
- I was told by the doctor
not to visit yesterday,
to let you rest.
When can he come home?
We'll have the histological
report tomorrow.
I'll be able to say something
certain then.
What are the chances?
- Let's hope for the best.
- That's the
Prime Minister's request.
- According to the embassy, Gorbach...
- I don't care about excuses.
Make it happen!
- How did you get through?
- On foot. You?
- I slept here.
- In the car?
- It was quite cold at night.
- The boss?
- Let's try to convince him.
- The entire country
is under blockade.
Szeged, Debrecen, Pcs, Gyr
and all the other
county seats are blocked,
along with ring roads
and border crossings.
About 40,000 taxi drivers and 80,000
truckers with vans and lorries.
120,000 families.
Here's the detailed report.
- I'm surprised that people
sympathise with them.
- Well, it would be difficult to
sympathise with the price increase.
- People are taking them
tea and hot meals.
- What's the foreign response?
- According to Der Spiegel,
"Hungary had soft dictatorship.
Now it seems,
it will have hard anarchy."
- Trains?
- Running.
- Underground?
- Stopped for two hours.
There was a bomb alert
at Dek Square.
- Apparently, explosives were stolen
from the mine in Miskolc.
And unless we suspend the price
increase, they will be detonated.
- Look into it.
- Food supplies?
- In principle,
food trucks are allowed through.
- But in practice,
they can't squeeze through
from the back of the queues.
Livestock are often stranded
at the sides of the roads.
- How are people coping?
- Most don't even set off from home.
- Oil?
- None has come.
- Gorbachev?
- No answer.
- No answer.
Okay. Call him every day,
every half an hour, every minute.
- The Alliance of Free Democrats?
- They're agitating at the blockades.
- They're saying that we want
to open fire, and so we should resign.
Maybe I'm naive,
but I imagined that,
once we finally became free,
it'd be much easier
to cope with hardship.
- Now, at our first serious measure,
the nation gives us the finger.
- I wouldn't equate
taxi drivers with the nation.
- But the people are there
with them, taking them tea,
sympathising with them.
- Lezsk has called me.
Together with Dezs Gyarmati,
he could muster about
10,000 supporters
- for a counter-demonstration.
- That doesn't sound bad.
Pro-order protest
against the disrupters.
- This is the first conflict
in Hungarian history
to be broadcast live
on television.
I have my doubts
but it wouldn't be a bad thing
to show that
we too have supporters.
No, no, no.
Because the only thing that exists
is what people see on TV.
- That's what we wanted
to talk to you about.
- Make a statement on television.
- Like this?
- Even if I were well, I couldn't
play the role of the president.
Raise the spirits
of the parliamentary party.
And don't let them make
statements against Gncz!
We must protect his
presidential authority.
Even if we don't agree with him.
- And you, call Kohl for me.
- Kohl?
- Yes, Helmut Kohl,
the German chancellor.
- Helmut Kohl, the German chancellor.
- As if that were so simple.
- You think my job is easy?
Keeping 164 outraged MPs quiet,
so that they don't offend
presidential authority?
This is the second time
I've queued today
and the bread ran out
under my nose.
- On what grounds?
On what grounds are we being held up?
Have you no shame?
My wife's sick,
she's waiting for me at home.
If this is so hard to understand,
then we're not humans.
Then we're animals.
- It's impossible that you can't
get around the whole of Kbnya.
- Don't take it to extremes, boys!
Leave off it!
What's up, guys?
- Closed!
- Closed?
Hungary is completely closed.
- The goods must be in Munich
- by this evening.
- Are you sure it's closed?
- Taxi drivers' strike.
Uhh, fucking hell.
He's got a gun. Take cover!
Fucking motherfuckers!
- You should rest.
Get some sleep.
In one ear and out the other. Jska!
Do me a favour and for once in your
life pay a little attention to me!
- What do you mean for once
in my life? I always pay attention.
I always pay attention, don't I?
- From the outside... seems that... don't really.
- You don't pay attention
to what we say.
You don't converse, you lecture.
- You monologise.
- Well, go to hell then...
I'm going to rest now.
Will that do?
I've called the embassy.
The embassy called the chancellery.
He can't be reached.
He's in Rome.
When will he go back to Germany?
- Tomorrow evening.
- That's too late.
- Even his own people
cannot get hold of him.
- Here.
- How did you get Kohl's number?
- His wife gave it to me
when they visited last summer.
- I didn't know that
you became such good friends.
- I even know where they met.
- Where?
- At a dance school!
- See? That's why it's
worth marrying well.
And now get out,
let the patient work.
- Josef?
- How are you, Helmut?
- Good, good.
- I'm sorry to disturb you.
- Your wife gave me your number.
- I told her, it was
just for emergencies.
- This is an emergency.
- The taxi drivers?
Taxi drivers, truckers, even
the opposition have sided with them.
- Who organised it?
It was spontaneous, but now
the president is pulling the strings.
- Gtz?
- Gncz.
He's one of your men, isn't he?
You put him forward for the post.
I was wrong about him.
I can send petrol.
Not much, but some.
Just don't ask for money.
But that's what I need, money.
How much?
- A hundred million.
- Forints?
Even if I had a hundred million
dollars to spare... is my duty to spend
every pfennig on Brandenburg,
Thuringia and Saxony,
on the Eastern part of the country.
- Were you followed?
- If you get caught, what
do you say? - Nothing.
- Because the secret police
only knows as much about you...
- As I tell them.
- Precisely.
- Jska, my son.
Bla Kovcs, an old friend from
the Smallholder's Party.
- Minister...
- And his secretary.
What's going on outside?
- Russians are everywhere.
- The fight for freedom has failed.
The UN is our last hope.
- We've decided to write
a political credo,
a memorandum,
and send it to the UN.
- I know the charg d'affaires
at the Indian embassy.
I've spoken to him. He will help.
- Bib is also in on the operation.
- And who'll write it?
- You two.
If you agree to.
- Jzsef Antall.
- rpd Gncz.
- Hungarian political development,
the source of public
and governmental law,
the status quo of 1946
and the revolution
of 23 October 1956.
- Form of government: republic.
- Hungary withdraws
from the Warsaw Pact.
- Police! Open up!
Open up!
- One moment!
I'm coming! I'm coming.
Open up or we'll
break the door down!
I can't find the keys.
I'm here, I'm here.
I'm opening the door.
- Open the door immediately!
Open up!
- What were you doing here?
- Smoking.
- Speaking.
- In 1956 the whole of Europe
celebrated that we took up arms
against the Russians.
But when it came to helping,
no one did.
Clapping and cheering,
we have that now as well.
But will there be help?
Are you trying
to appeal to my conscience?
I'm trying to appeal to the
collective European conscience.
There is this European community aid
which you have already approved.
The second tranche, $400 million,
is due next year.
That's to maintain solvency
and to control inflation.
All I'm asking is that you
don't give this next year
or later this year,
but right now.
Otherwise we'll never
get out of the Soviet bloc.
I can't decide this on my own.
I know.
- I'll see what I can do.
- Thank you, Helmut.
Thank you.
The cynical neighbour?
- I'm sorry.
I feel so ashamed of myself.
I didn't recognise you.
- It's okay, you were
only being honest.
- My husband is a taxi driver.
He's protesting at rpd Bridge.
My mother's looking after
the children.
We both work two shifts, but still
can hardly make ends meet.
It's healing nicely.
- My father died in this room.
In this very bed.
Of cancer.
He had incredible self-control.
He came home on foot from
Russian captivity in the Urals.
He survived the Gestapo prison
because he was disciplined.
All that mattered to him
was for me to have self-restraint.
If I got a bad mark in maths
and had a conflict with my teacher,
he didn't care about the grade.
His first question was:
"You didn't lose your temper,
did you?"
That's why it might seem
that I have no emotions.
- Only on television.
- What's your name?
- Marica.
- Leave it.
I know it's hard.
I am working to make it easier.
Thank you.
- Get up! Get up!
Stand in the corner, the corner!
Stand there all night.
I'll be watching!
- 23 October, statue of Bem.
You took your pupils to
an anti-Soviet protest.
I want to know by name
who you took.
- I didn't take anyone.
- There are witnesses.
- I wasn't there myself.
- I want names.
- I went home after school
and stayed at home.
- Ask my parents.
- Should we bring them in?
- Somlai?
- No.
- Tth?
- No.
- Temesvri?
- No.
- Vadsz?
- No.
- None of them were there?
- Not one.
- Not one.
- Who are you working for?
- For Etvs Secondary School.
I'm a teacher.
On whose order did you write
the memorandum
in which you demanded
the withdrawal of Soviet troops?
Bla Kovcs?
Antall Sr.?
- I did not write a memorandum.
- Do you know
a certain rpd Gncz?
- No.
- Who did he want to give the
memorandum to? The UN? Menon?
- I don't know.
I don't know any dm Gncz.
- Listen to me you...
Listen to me, Antall,
a lot of guys with balls have sat
in that chair before you.
But I smashed their balls.
I want names. Names.
In love and in politics, there is no such thing as
always and no such thing as never.
- But why did we let him go?
- His father saved
Jews in the war.
And these Jews intervened
on his behalf.
- Comrade Captain.
He's a fascist spy.
- So what? We'll get him.
Not today, not tomorrow.
One day.
And then, I guarantee,
he won't survive.
- Crowds have gathered
in front of Parliament again.
The chants are entirely
different from those before.
They are telling the
taxi drivers to go home.
- Taxis go home! Taxis go home!
- Taxis go home! Taxis go home!
Antall come home!
Antall come home!
- Let's put it like that.
- At the request of the workers'
and employers' organisations,
we will discuss the issue
of the price of petrol publicly,
in front of the cameras.
The government believes
that it is vital that an agreement
is reached today so that life
can start again tomorrow.
It is the whole of society that sits
opposite the government today.
The workers would also
like to reach an agreement.
Failure to do so will be
the government's responsibility.
In front of me is the
government's proposal,
which promises 12 forints
in compensation
for taxi drivers and truckers.
But this conflict is
no longer about taxi drivers.
- You hear that?
It's not even about us anymore.
- Rather, as my colleague said,
it's about the whole of society.
- If world market prices rise,
society must pay them.
- World market prices fluctuate.
Right now they're decreasing.
It's not enough for the government
to compensate taxi drivers.
It must decrease the price
of petrol by 12 forints,
that is the fuel duty,
as 66% of the price of petrol is tax.
Everywhere in the world.
- And it's not enough to reduce
the price of petrol...
- Gorbachev's secretariat
has called back.
You will meet in
three weeks' time in Paris.
but it must be liberalised
as soon as possible...
-...within a week or two, that is
freed from official pricing.
- That's what we said.
- And then, if petrol becomes
expensive on the world market,
it will also be expensive here.
But if it is cheap,
it'll be cheap here too.
It's the same all over the world.
- That's what we wanted
in the first place. To free prices.
- If it's going to be cheap,
it'll really be cheap.
But if the Americans attack Iraq,
petrol could easily be
100 forints here.
- Is that why we went through
all this?
To get to the place
where we started from?
- It just shows that
the last three days
were not really
about petrol prices.
- We must think this through.
- The clock is ticking.
We must decide, otherwise
the blockade will continue on Monday.
We would like to ask
for a ten-minute break.
- What's all this about, Jska?
- We have always been different.
Somehow we cancel
each other out.
- But we must cooperate.
You and I should set
an example of democracy.
We cannot transgress
our authority.
- I have not transgressed mine!
- The Constitutional Court
will decide that.
- Look at the popularity
You fell from 70 to 50.
And I rose to 80.
80, Jska!
Whatever the Constitutional
Court says,
the people think I'm right.
Just because you're popular
doesn't mean you are right.
- It means they love me.
They love their "Uncle rpi".
- Because you tell them
what they want to hear.
- I'm conveying the will
of the people.
Isn't that the task of a politician?
- The task of a politician
is to be useful.
He can be useful and popular
at the same time.
In other, more fortunate times.
But whoever sees this through now
is a dead man, kamikaze.
That is what I swore to do.
To see the transitional
programme to the end
through thick and thin.
With or without you.
- You mean against me.
- That's up to you.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Sit down.
Mr. Antall won't be coming anymore.
I will be your class teacher.
Open your textbooks.
- Hello?
- Greetings, my friend.
- I'm here.
- I've told them. In your words.
- And?
They've voted for it.
Thatcher, Mitterrand, Andreotti,
the whole Community.
The whole of Europe,
if you will.
- Thank you, Helmut.
Fingers crossed.
For Hungary and for you,
my friend.
- Thank you.
- Understood, Prime Minister.
The government has accepted
the joint proposal
of the workers and employers,
and from midnight tonight
will reduce the price of petrol
by 12 forints across the board.
- Tell the TV people that I will make
a statement.
- Do read it!
- I will.
- Sir!
- Somlai!
- I've heard you've been
banned from teaching.
- They thought it was
a punishment for me
to be placed among books.
My only regret is that I couldn't
take you all the way
to your school leaving exam.
I saw your class picture in
a shop window;
I was very proud.
My first class.
- Unfortunately, they didn't allow us
to put your picture on it...
But we are meeting up
with the boys
in the usual place on Friday.
We hope you'll join us.
- Sub rosa?
- Sub rosa.
- These were the days of awakening.
Despite the change of political
regime, despite the unanimous
enthusiasm abroad and at home,
it is now clear
what internal difficulties,
what impenetrable structures
are in play...
What deep-seated reflexes,
and deep-rooted
characteristics people have,
which cannot be
transformed overnight.
Transforming the economic system
is going to be a much harder
and more difficult process
than moving from
dictatorship to democracy.
The tensions of the taxi blockade
are not new;
they have been building up
for a long time.
In 1973, at the time of the
oil crisis, the Kdr government
began to take out loans.
Why was it necessary
to borrow 20 billion dollars?
Because the economy
was not actually producing.
In other words, the country
had been living for decades
without producing
what it consumed.
We were living on credit.
Credit gave people
a false sense of security.
They felt they could have
modest goals:
a Trabant, a Zhiguli.
It was hard to get a flat,
but less so to get
a small weekend plot.
And, occasionally,
they could go on a trip abroad.
They felt they lived freer and better
lives than the Poles and the Czechs.
Society was thus living
in a party state but,
because of 1956,
in the shadow of debt
and failed economic policy,
the country,
although it never lived well,
still enjoyed
a better life than what
the economy would have allowed.
A system has collapsed, but that is
not our government's fault.
It was communist politics,
an entire economic system,
that collapsed.
That is why regime changes took place
in Central and Eastern Europe.
And now we have been given the bill.
We must pay back
the 20 billion dollars.
We must get the economy
back on its feet.
We must produce
what we consume.
nobody won and nobody lost.
If anyone said that they had
won a great victory,
that they had beaten the other,
they would be terribly wrong.
We all make mistakes.
We are all learning democracy.
The government
has made mistakes, too.
We did not pay enough attention.
But from now on we will.
The government will not
initiate any proceedings
against the participants of this
civil disobedience movement.
As for me:
I have no personal career ambitions.
I will serve until
my service is useful.
I will do this to the best of my
knowledge, as long as I can,
while the Hungarian nation
requires me to do so.
- What did the doctor say?
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Cancer of the lymphatic system.
In the best case, three years,
in the worst case, three months.
- What does it depend on?
- How I react to chemo.
- Let's move to the countryside.
To the hills.
To your parents' estate.
Let's go hiking,
do the gardening, let's retire.
Everyone will understand.
- Why not?
- Juho Kusti Paasikivi.
He didn't retire either.
May I?
- Congratulations on your
Nobel Peace Prize.
- Thank you. How are you?
- I'm well.
Let me apologise.
For the oil delay.
The error has been corrected.
We will resume oil deliveries
on Monday to Poland,
- Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
- Thank you.
But the price will be different.
Now, instead of roubles,
we can only accept dollars.
- And what happened to the
old discount price?
The old discount price applied
to the Warsaw Pact,
but now that it's being dissolved...
- Is it? - As you suggested.
As you predicted.
The GDR has quit.
Unless we want to wait for
all the member states to follow suit,
we must abolish it ourselves.
Less of a loss of prestige.
Aren't you pleased?
- I have been waiting for
this moment since 1955
and I never thought
I'd live to see it.
One moment.
You, General Secretary, have
apologised to the Poles for Katyn,
and apologised
to the Czechs for 1968.
But you haven't apologised
to the Hungarians for 1956.
- Katyn was a massacre.
1968 was a mistake.
But 1956...
- ...our assessment remains
unchanged. - That is?
A protest took place,
which seemed progressive,
but turned into
killing and terror.
- That is not what happened.
On the one hand,
I'm a historian.
On the other, I was there.
An apology would do much
for reconciliation
between our two countries.
You cannot win
the Nobel Peace Prize twice.
Of course, you can.
The Red Cross has won it
three times.
- Really?
- Yes.
- Aspirin?
- No, thank you.
- Is this yours?
- Yes.
- Where have you got to?
- Well, I'm only at the beginning.
I realised that all I know of 1848
is that there were the Kuruc
and the Labanc.
They were warring
factions in the 18th century.
- Really?
- Listen, let me explain.
JZSEF ANTALL (1932-1993)