sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

Taking Sides in Szabó’s Soundsign Universe


This article analyses Istvan Szabó’s film Taking Sides, one of the best Hungarian political films, in the context of  the relationship between art and politics. The film uses multiple narration levels to tell the story of the conductor Dr. Furtwängler’s interrogation during  de-Nazification in Germany after World War II. Music is given a leading role in support of the narration. In contrast to German classical music, American swing is the soundsign that strengthens the narration, underlining the political atmosphere during Berlin’s re-establishment of everyday life and culture. The director’s self-reflexive approach to the relationship between cinema and art is also emphasised in the study.

Keywords: Hungarian movie, taking sides, World War II, Dr. Furtwängler.