"Neither Memory Nor Magic " Screening April 12 at Opalka

April 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Neither Memory Nor Magic

On April 12, the Center for Documentary Arts at The Sage Colleges is pleased to present, in collaboration with the Opalka Gallery, Hugo Perez's Neither Memory Nor Magic, a stirring film profile of Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti. The film, presented as part of Holocaust Remembrance Month, will be screened at 6:30 in the theater of the Opalka Gallery at Sage College of Albany (140 New Scotland Avenue).

Following the screening, Mr. Perez will speak about the making of the film and answer audience questions.

Radnóti is one of Hungary's foremost poets and a national hero. He was a fervent nationalist and anti-fascist; this activity, and the fact he was born a Jew, condemned him during World War II to internment in a series of forced labor camps, where he died.

Director Perez travelled throughout Hungary and Serbia to film NMNM, which is built upon the poignant, courageous poems found in the notebook Radnóti had when his body was discovered. This is the synopsis from the filmmaker's website:

            In the spring of 1946, a mass grave was unearthed in the Hungarian village of Abda. Twenty-two decayed bodies were found sprawled in the pit. One of the bodies found in the grave was that of the poet Miklós Radnóti, shot into the grave by Hungarian fascists eighteen months earlier. Found in the front pocket of his coat was a small notebook soaked in his bodily fluids. It was laid out to dry in the sunlight and when examined later revealed the poets last poems carefully handwritten onto the ruled lines of the notebook. In the so-called Bor Notebook, Radnóti, through poetry, told the story of the last six months of his life, months spent first as slave labor in a Nazi labor camp in Bor, Serbia, and then on a three-month forced march from Serbia to the small village of Abda where he was killed when he was too weak to continue. 

            Radnóti’s final poems serve as the backbone of the narrative of Neither Memory Nor Magic to reveal the story of a poet who continued to write poetry even as he faced almost certain death. Through the use of evocative and lyrical Super8 footage, readings of the poems to represent Radnóti’s account of his life, and interviews with some of those who knew him best and who got to know him in his last days, Neither Memory Nor Magic tells the story of one poet’s triumph over the inhumanity of his age –a story previously untold outside of Hungary.

The screening is open to the public and all members of the Sage Colleges.  Admission is $5, free to Sage students with I.D.

For further information, contact Timothy Cahill at 518-292-1951 or the Opalka Gallery at 518-292-7742

The Center for Documentary Arts

The Center for Documentary Arts at The Sage Colleges was founded to increase humanitarian awareness and foster compassion through the power of the documentary arts. Documentary arts are those narrative forms of photography, film, oral history, theater, painting, poetry, etc. that address social themes and reveal the human condition. The Center promotes artists of the highest accomplishment who work to bear witness to our times. Our conviction is that this witnessing art is a vital tool for stimulating collective engagement and individual empathy. The Center’s activities serve educational communities and the public through exhibitions, film screenings, readings, publications, commissions, and more. The Center for Documentary Arts was established in 2009 with funds from the estate of Kayla Mitchell, in association with The Sage Colleges in Albany and Troy, New York.