Hungary, France


33-year-old Tamás Merthner is heartbroken after his girlfriend Anna, who is on a scholarship in Paris, breaks up with him. While wallowing in self-pity, Tamás takes a trip down memory lane to figure out if love only exists when it’s practically gone. As he’s trying to pick up the pieces, he begins to realise what makes this current society so confused, which gives us a highly subjective view of Hungary’s present.

Director's Statement

I sat down three and a half years ago to write the script for BAD POEMS. Back then, I noticed that reality was being flooded more and more with digital images, and that every simple tourist was mindlessly archiving memories. And yet, I saw hardly anything change; in films, people still entered the frame in a medium shot and got into a car in a wide-angle shot. My emotional career (if such a thing exists) was in a huge crisis, and I soon noticed that I was writing my childhood memories down in the script as a form of therapy.
The combination of these two launched the film’s basic starting point. All this happened in Paris within the frame of the Cinéfondation Residence fellowship. The memories came to me in an associative way, and I searched for some kind of invisible connection in them. Whatever was created then in six months, is what the cast, crew, and I tried to interpret and untangle: to sharpen the blurry; to fill faded space and objects with colour; to give emotions and voices to bodies that had already frozen or become somewhat forgotten in the past.

Director's Biography

Gábor Reisz was born in 1980, in Budapest, Hungary. After graduating from the University of Physical Education, he went to Eötvös Loránd University to study Film Theory and Film History in 2003. In 2006, he started to study at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest, as a film and television director. He wrote and directed several short films.
In 2014, he graduated with his first feature FOR SOME INEXPLICABLE REASON. The film premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s East of the West competition and has been awarded at several international film festivals world-wide.

2019 - BAD POEMS
2010 - ON A LOWER LEVEL, short
2010 - JUDITH KEITH, short
2008 - CHANING ROOM, short
2007 - NOTHING AND GOOD, short
2007 - 8
2006 - THEORY OF RUNNING, short

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Gábor Reisz

Written by: Gábor Reisz

Produced by: Julia Berkes, Estelle Robin You

Cinematography: Dániel Bálint, Kristóf Becsey

Editing: Zsófia Tálas

Production Design: Zsófia Tasnádi

Costume Design: Borbála Keszei

Original Score: Lóránt Csorba, András Kálmán, Gábor Reisz, András Koroknay

Sound: Peter Benjamin Lukacs, Tamás Székely

Cast: Zsolt Kovács (father), Katalin Takács (mother), Donát Seres (Tamás Merthner (18)), Mátyás Prukner (Tamás Merthner (14)), Barnabás Prukner (Tamás Merthner (7)), Gábor Reisz (Tamás Merthner (33)), Lili Monori (Vali)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2019