Proving yet again that all politics is local, “Balkan Champion” examines the eventful career and chaotic home life of a tireless Hungarian activist in Romania whose setbacks have included a string of election defeats, death threats and self-imposed exiles. Winner of the main docu prize at the recently-concluded Hungarian Film Week, pic will cruise to fest berths and tube sales.
Elod Kincses is the former chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, based in Romanian burg of Tirgu Mures. Kincses seems a rumpled yet dogged servant to his cause who claims foes “simply failed the exam in morality.” He’s called an instigator by more polished colleagues, one of whom claims “politically and privately, he has isolated himself completely.” Home life is tense: His wife is an unrelenting shrew who screeches her disapproval constantly. “Anybody who can’t forget the past is a fascist,” she proclaims, rising from the couch long enough to confront her daughter, helmer Reka, “and I want to watch (TV).” Director’s futile attempts to get answers about dad’s career choices give pic palpable tension. Tech package is bare-bones minimum, hand-held vid enhancing you-are-there immediacy.