The Life of an AgentPapp Gábor Zsigmond - 54'
Nearly ten years after the change of the regime, December 31st 1998 was the last day in the life of the Film Studio of the Ministry of Interior, a propaganda workhouse of the communist era in Hungary. During the three decades between 1958 and 1988, hundreds of propaganda and instructional films as well as short and full-length feature films were produced here, providing guidance as to the appropriate methods of protecting the socialist state for Hungarian secret policemen. Among others, their subjects included the clandestine house-search, the operative shadowing of select target persons, the installation of tapping devices, and the organisation of agents and denunciators. The plain and straightforward narration of the instructional films is slightly incongruent with their serious patriotic intention, which will astonish today’s viewers in terms of the amount of money, time and energy devoted during the sixties and seventies to this neither cheap or simple form of ideological education. By the selection of the most interesting fragments the filmmaker illustrates the operation and the major motives behind the coercive organisation of Kádár’s dictatorship.