By his mid-twenties, Csanád Szegedi, a fervent Holocaust denier and outspoken anti-Semite, rises up through the ranks to lead the Hungarian far-right conservative Jobbik Party. Cofounder of the Hungarian Guard and serving his country in the European Parliament, Szegedi, with his extremist views and racist agenda, ascends the political ladder. That is, until the day a rung gives out and Szegedi comes tumbling down.
Discovering that his grandmother is a survivor of Auschwitz and he is, indeed, a Jew, Szegedi has no choice but to come to terms with his true identity. After the initial shock subsides and members of his own party begin to turn against him, Szegedi, desperate and alone, seeks the help of a local Orthodox rabbi. Agreeing to take Szegedi under his wing despite protests from his peers, the empathetic rabbi aids Szegedi in his unbelievable transformation from raving anti-Semite to devout Jew.
“Keep Quiet” is a powerful and unsettling documentary that leaves you questioning the veracity of Szegedi’s intentions to embrace his faith and start his life anew. With rich archival material, captivating interviews, and incredible vérité footage, viewers are encouraged to make their own judgment. Is Szegedi telling the truth or is it all an act?
The guest speakers at the film presentation are Elliot Ratzman, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Swarthmore College, and Árpád v. Klimó, professor of Modern European history at the Catholic University of America.
This film was an official selection of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. It is a documentary feature in Hungarian with English subtitles. Buy tickets for the film here.