A group of CEU students refuses to accept that their university is expelled from Hungary, choosing to resist the decline of academic freedom.
Imagine waking up as an “enemy of the people.” This was the reality waiting for students and staff of Central European University (CEU) as a coordinated legal and media apparatus began to demonize and eventually criminalize the Hungarian-American institution. Szabad Egyetem/ The Free University follows students of CEU as they struggle against their exile by an increasingly authoritarian government. Through their stories, we show life in a backsliding democracy and the consequences of democratic “red lines” being crossed with impunity.
Directed by Jonathan Hunter. Born in the UK, Jonathan moved to Budapest in 2016, where he studied documentary filmmaking and philosophy at Central European University. Jonathan has since made several commercial videos, educational content, and short documentaries. He now works as a freelance filmmaker and videographer in Florence, Italy.
Co-directed by Lucie Janotová
Edited & translated by Ádám Hushegyi
Cinematographer: Ifra Asad
Producer: Mackenzie Nelson
The event is organized in the framework of the 16th Verzió International Human Rights Film Festival in the category of Student/Debut Film Competition.