Production

Early July, 2013

The wind acused by the tram blew out lots of our ideas at the street of Karinthy Frigyes, but one of them stayed with us, bothers us. "Fok"-fishing. It's a good theme to make a movie about. Fok-fishing is an ancient Hungarian thing (this is trendy in Hungary), and we have a contact named Tamás Lantos at Martkóc. We will search the village on the map, we look the theme up at the library. Do it! We continue swiging our beers with satisfaction.

End of July, 2013

In the empty reading-room of the library I'm thumbing the book of István Ecsedi ethnographer, published in 1934. He wrote: "yonder people call fok or silfok the small watery places. (...) The water disappers from the foks quickly, but agonizes all along the hot summer. (...) It's dangerous, because if someone step on the foks, he could easily subside till his knees into the swamp..." He also descripted how could people fish with their hands or with the most primitive means in these swamps and wetlands. I didn't suspect that the fok-fishing is something totally different thing. And even the fok doesn't mean this.

End of August, 2013

We get out of the car on a pleasant, steamy but sun brightly afternoon at Markóc. It's our first time at Ormánság. Houses line up only on the right side of the high street of the lovely village, leftwards there is a tall, rampant forest until the horizont. As if over the forest it’s the river Dráva. What’s more: the Ancient Dráva. Fabled forest which leeds to the past. Of course, it’s all just an optical illusion: behind the narrow forest-zone there are huge crop-fields, just like those which bordered our road to this village. After we pull ourselfs together after the long ride, we meet the silence. Dead and deep silence. It feels good. But later it bothers us: how can be a silence of this possible in a village? Are there no animals here? No, there aren't.

We talked to Tamás Lantos, the mayor of Markóc. Fok-fishing is nothing in itself - it is part of the fok-farming. In the late past at the floodplains the people completed the natural turnouts of the river with artificial canal. These were the foks. People retained the water in this way. They catched the rainwater too. So the floodplain wasn't a swamp or mud, but orchard cuted into the forest, grazer and acorned areas. That’s why he and his fellows would set back this. To reach it, the system of the water-management should be transformed, because the water-management directorage lead out the water from the territory. In front of me emerge a conflict between an ordinary man and the office. We can make a good film out of this. We can start it.

28. September, 2013.

The first day of shooting.

23 of June, 2014

The worker fellow of the water management directorage of Pécs drove out to the canal of Cún to explain how they feed from the Fekete-víz the swamping oxbow-piece. It is between the swamp and oxbow. But it's heart-warming. In the past they did everything to take away more and more water from the area for the fields to be expanding. Now they bring back water - at least for the nourishment of a small surface. They are padding the canal with a sealer so the soil doesn’t take in the water, they make sure it arrives to its destination. The restoration of the natural state is not possible without the use of artificial materials. This is the real revenge of nature.

14 of September, 2014

As we arrive the worship is still ongoing in the famous painted-wooden-coffered church of Kóros. We don’t want to bother, so we walk and look around the building. In the middle of the village there is a huge, barely tended green lawn. If we look closer we can see two soccer gates as well. As if it was an infected ulcer from which the houses are trying to get away as far as possible. This spatial structure is incomprehesible unless we say that the devastation of the houses are less conspicious from far away. Later we get to know that this strange formation was once a lake but they drained it. The locals call it apadás (wane). I’m trying to imagine how the surroundings of the lake Balaton would look like if the draining fever reached it. The worship is over. Besides the minister there’s only one believer walking out of the reformed church. And he is a Catholic.

22 of November, 2014

We are shooting with two secondary schoolers. In Kóros for long years they are the first ones who will do the matura exams. Before we switch on the cameras they are talking about how they go to a near village every morning by bike, where the bus stops, which takes them to Siklós. They don’t even realise what they are saying, for them it’s natural. Whether it’s snowing or raining, they have to get to an other village, because the bus doesn’t stop in theirs. Hungary, 2014.

17 of May, 2015

Dead end village (in Hungarian: zsákfalu meand sack village), Drávapiski. The houses are barely seen from the forest beside the main road. Maybe their poorness is what they’re hiding. The bottom of the sack is the bus round. This is a small square. In the middle there’s a fountain. A mermaid with a jug in her hands. I’m watching her face and my impression is that she is ashamed of herself. Her fake marbleness in the center of the square. Her jug holding gesture strangely suggests resignation. Definately because of the wooden memorial statue (in Hungarian: kopjafa) style Kossuth statue standing against her. Due to the wooden neck barce it’s impossible that the former Hungarian governor would ever turn against the statue lady. He stays stiffed into indecency.