Romani Studies

Producing prejudice: The rhetoric of discourses in and around current films on Roma-Hungarian interethnic relations

Romani Studies (2014), 24, (1), 1–24.

Abstract

The rhetoric of discourses in and around current films on Roma-Hungarian interethnic relations prevents audiences from positively engaging with Roma characters. My analysis reveals the ways in which the two documentaries broadcast on national Hungarian television on Roma people since 2009 block the channels of identification between viewers and filmic characters. Additionally, this essay examines the rhetoric of the press release issued by the Hungarian Ministry of Public Administration and Justice on the film Just the Wind at the Berlin Film Festival. In the press release the Ministry actively seeks to widen the gap between the racially motivated killing series in 2008 and 2009 against Roma and the filmic representation of the same events, which in fact enables audiences to identify with the victims. I argue that the seemingly different discourses overlap in their efforts to distance the viewer from Roma, thereby contributing to the strengthening of majority society's prejudices against them.

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Strausz, Laszlo