The Case of István Szabó

  • Christina Stojanova


TAKING SIDES: THE CASE OF ISTVÁN SZABÓ THERE is a scene halfway through István Szabó's latest film, Taking Sides: The Case Furtwängler (2001, Germany-France), where the American interrogator Major Steve Arnold confronts the legendary German conductor and music director of the Berlin Philharmonic with the question why he did not leave Germany despite of his disapproval of the Nazi regime. Wilhelm Furtwängler's answer is humble and simple: because I am not Jewish and because I tried to help from inside. The crucial moral choice, involved in one's decision to leave one's country, the choice that could make or break a human being, has been one of the central themes of Szabó's oeuvre since Lovefilm (1970). A beautiful, nostalgic film about the passionate meeting in Paris of two lovers, separated by immigration for more than a decade after the bloody suppression of...