1989 – A Statesman Opens up

1989 – Between Hungary and Austria the ageing iron curtain dividing East from West, is crumbling. Having no ambitions for a career in politics, young prime minister Miklós Németh cancels all future maintenance of the Iron Curtain.

This feature-length documentary visits the closed rooms where battles are fought and history made, pushing the borders of the documentary genre to achieve a rich, cinematic experience.

Watch the film here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/1989movie

News

  • 11/2015 - "1989 – A Statesman Opens up“ wins Premios Ondas International TV Award

    Our coproduction “1989” received the ONDAS TV AWARD 2015 for “Best TV Production of the Year” in Barcelona. The Ondas [...]

    Our coproduction “1989” received the ONDAS TV AWARD 2015 for "Best TV Production of the Year" in Barcelona. The Ondas Awards are Spain’s most long-standing and prestigious radio and television awards. “1989” is a feature-length documentary and a high-politics drama about the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Directors Erzsébet Rácz and Anders Østergaard mix archive footage, sound sequences and running commentary to push the borders of the documentary genre to achieve a rich, cinematic experience. The jury states: “An ambitious European coproduction that portrays the historic chapter of the fall of the Iron Curtain using a brilliant narrative and formal proposal.“

    Infos about "1989"
    Premios Ondas


  • 09/2015 - “1989 – A Statesman Opens up” wins the Prix Italia 2015!

    The film by Anders Østergaard and Erzsébet Rácz was honored with the famous award for the “Best documentary in cultural [...]

    The film by Anders Østergaard and Erzsébet Rácz was honored with the famous award for the “Best documentary in cultural and general interest”.The Prix Italia is one of the most important international awards for TV, radio and web productions. The feature-length documentary visits the closed rooms where battles are fought and history made, pushing the borders of the documentary genre to achieve a rich, cinematic experience. In 1989, between Hungary and Austria the ageing iron curtain dividing East from West, is crumbling. Having no ambitions for a career in politics, young prime minister Miklós Németh cancels all future maintenance of the Iron Curtain.  

    Prix Italia 2015


  • 01/2015 - "1989" nominated for the Cinema for Peace Award

    The CINEMA FOR PEACE FOUNDATION has set itself the goal to call attention to injustice and inhumanity all over the [...]

    The CINEMA FOR PEACE FOUNDATION has set itself the goal to call attention to injustice and inhumanity all over the world and to combat this by the means of film. Every year the FOUNDATION awards film projects, which show courage and openly deal with issues such as human rights violations, environmental sins and terror regime. Therefore, we are very pleased to announce that "1989" is nominated for this year's CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD.  

    Cinema For Peace Foundation



1989 – A Statesman Opens up

1989 – A STATESMAN OPENS UP is a creative documentary and a high-politics drama about the collapse of the Iron Curtain. A young technocrat, Miklós Németh, becomes Hungary’s new prime minister to save the country’s appalling economy. He decides to remove the expensive border control apparatus from the state budget. Thousands of refugees from East Germany are encouraged by rumours that the Hungarian border to Austria will be opened and decide to make a go for it. However, Nemeth’s decision has set him up against formidable adversaries and communist hardliners. A young East German couple is caught up in the political power game: the young man is finally shot dead at the border. This tragic event paradoxically accelerates Nemeth’s final decision to open up the borders. Soon after, the Berlin Wall falls.

The film follows the personal account of the then prime minister of Hungary, Miklós Németh, underpinned by archive footage and reconstructions of various scenes and conversations based on comprehensive journalistic research and detailed testimony. Reconstructed conversations from confidential meetings have been re-recorded with speakers to superimpose the resulting sound track onto real-life film and video footage of the historical persons concerned in similar settings. This device has enabled Østergaard to recreate the actual events with the personalities who were genuinely involved, thus retaining their authenticity and the spirit of the times. It also allows the audience to reflect on the historic events covered by the film and the way they interrelate.

Script and Director: Anders Østergaard
Co-Director: Erzsebet Racz
Cinematography: Simon Plum
Montage: Szilvia Ruszev
Executive Producer: Lise-Lense Möller
Co-Producer: Christian Beetz
Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Commissioning Editor: Martin Pieper (zdf/arte), Peter Gottschalk (arte)

Koproduktion

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Förderer

danishfilminstitut_logo eurimages_logo Medienboard-Logo2017_GBF-webseite Den Vestdanske Filmpulje, West Danish Film Fund nordisk-film-tv-fond 1989_bundesstiftung aufarbeitung für hp
  • Pan-European World Premiere: 1989 - A Statesman Opens up

    CPH:DOX - 20 European Cities
    05 November 2014 at 8:00 pm

  • 1989 - A Statesman Opens up

    Lycée Henri IV - Paris
    07 November 2014 at 4:45 pm

  • Premiere: 1989 - A Statesman Opens up

    Kino International - Berlin
    08 November 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • TV Premiere: 1989 - A Statesman Open Up

    arte
    09 November 2014 at 10:10 pm

  • 1989 - A Statesman Open Up

    RBB
    09 December 2014 at 11:30 pm

  • Berliner Zeitung, 02. November 2014

    Also the arte documentary "1989 - A Statesman Opens up" (Sun, 10/22) offers real discoveries. It looks onto history from the perspective of the man, who really was responsible for the fall of the Wall: Hungarian Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth. With unusual methods - politicians are dubbed according to original protocols - the Danish director Anders Ostergaard shows how Nemeth prevailed against the hardliners of his party, thanks to the backing of Gorbachev.