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Divan Screening in Budapest, August 4-5, 2004



DIVAN A film by Pearl Gluck (2004, USA/Hungary/Ukraine; 77 minutes)
To reclaim an ancestral couch upon which Hasidic rabbis slept, Pearl Gluck travels from her Hasidic community in Brooklyn to her roots in Hungary. Along the way, she wrestles with the faith of her forbearers, their heartbreaking fate and extraordinary resilience, and finally, what it means to claim both one's tradition and one's independence.
August 4, 18.00pm Q&A follows with director Then, check out the Klezmatics (featured in Divan) at the Sziget Music Festival
August 5, 20.30pm discussion follows with director and Ezstertaska (Jewish Women Association)
AT: Orokmozgo Theater Erzsebet krt. 39
+ + US PRESS and REVIEWS + +
NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED Melissa Block interviews Pearl Gluck LISTEN
FILMMAKER MAGAZING Bari Pearlman's interview with Pearl Gluck on Divan...
THE JEWISH WEEK Couched in Symbolism by George Robinson
VILLAGE VOICE CHOICE Tracking Shot by J. Hoberman
NY POST "brilliant!"
NY DAILY NEWS "A warm and engaging home movie"
"Adventurous! Absolutely charming!" -The New York Post
"Warmhearted but unsentimental, touching but not mawkish, clever but never cute...precocious autobiography, vivid travelogue, and sly wonder-tale." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice "She's looking for far more than furniture. And she finds it, in her own ingenious way." -Palm Beach Post
"A witty and playful journey both deeply committed and slyly ironic, DIVAN offers a glimpse into the richness of Yiddish folklore." -Variety
"A fresh, touching, surprising, and thoroughly wonderful film. At once witty and profound, Divan documents a series of quests for a special sofa, for remnants of a Jewish life in post-Holocaust Hungary, for a way to reconcile ones life choices with parental expectations the longest journey of all turns out to be the one from Brooklyn to Manhattan." -Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett, NYU
A Zeitgeist Films/Hartley Film Foundation Release For more information please visit www.palinkapictures.com

Rick E. Bruner | East Euro Current News, Gen Expat Life Updates | Jul 29, 2004 | Comments (3)

Drew Bacsi on NPR!

I just happened to Google "Drew Bacsi" this evening, trying to find Drew Leifheit's blog for his email address. (Yes, I could have just looked at email he had sent me in the past, but I thought that might be faster. Whatever.) Ironically the first link to come up was one to my blog. One of the next links, however, to come up was for a radio story he did for the excellent NPR program "On the Media" about some Hungarian strip-tease cultural interview show, Anettka. Nice one, Drew!

What's strange is why the web site plugs him only as Drew Bacsi, given that he identifies himself in the actual audio piece only by his real name (for those of you who are Hungarian-challenged, "Drew Bacsi" is a nickname meaning Uncle Drew).

The answer, I suspect, is he email address; I've gotten e-missives from him before, and I see that his email From line uses only that nickname. Hee-hee.

Rick E. Bruner | East Euro Current News, Gen Expat Life Updates | Jul 28, 2004 | Comments (3)

Carl Kovac's Funeral, July 21, 2004

Steve Saracco writes:

As you may already know, Carl's funeral ceremony with a U.S. Marine Color Guard will be held Wednesday at 2pm at the Fuime Utca cemetery. Agota will send out an official announcement. However the exact program is still not final. The considered second part of the ceremony in Budaors has been canceled (Agota will honor Carl's wishes and scatter his ashes from an aircraft during the Cleveland Air Show this September), so the cremation ceremony at Fuimi utca will be the only local ceremony.

Rick E. Bruner | Gen Expat Life Updates | Jul 18, 2004 | Comments (1)

Carl Kovac, 1934-2004


Carl Kovac was a warrior. He was a warrior for his country while serving as a United States Marine from 1953-1956 during the Korean Conflict. He was a warrior for society in his lifelong profession as a journalist.

He always passionately argued for the very best of journalism, journalism which asked the hard questions and let readers know what something really meant to them or how it fit in the bigger picture. The petty, indulgent or trivial which sometimes creeps into newsprint disgusted him. He was also a warrior for the
intellect. He had a wonderful sharp probing mind intrigued by almost any subject in search of knowing more and understanding what made things tick.

Carl was a guy who could be counted on to make anyone within shouting distance laugh after a few moments. From when he first came to Budapest in 1994, we knew him as both a friend and a colleague. He was the kind who keep his friends and those who knew him always glad to be with him. He was the kind that when a country has children of his sort, the world becomes a better place because of who they are. But this warrior has left the struggle behind this weekend and passed on. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Adam Lebor, John Nadler, Robin Marshall, Stephen O'Connor, Stephen Saracco, Julius Strauss

* * *

Mike Comerford adds:

When you're all sitting the around Iguana telling Carl stories, here are my two classic Carl stories. Once, we were sitting around the Miner's Pub at our first office and Carl was criticizing Anita for "Not knowing any
Hungarian." I said, "Carl, you don't speak it either."

"Yes I do" he says.

"I said, Carl, say the word 12 in Hungarian."

He looked bewildered and said "I can't believe it I'm blocking right now."

I said that's because you don't speak Hungarian.

Then he went on to tell a story about meeting the German ambassador and, you know what, he forgot how to speak German. I don't know if he ever mastered Hungarian in the 10 years he was there but I remember the old days, he couldn't say 12 but never wavered on his belief in his linguistic skills.

The other story is about how he got his nickname "Mr. Paprika." I gave it to him. It was a hot summer of 94 or 95, when poisoned paprika killed some people in the city and there was a brief ban on paprika. I gave the assignment to Carl, at the end of the week he came back saying "The guy who knows everything about paprika is on vacation."

I said this country is full of paprika experts call someone else. The end of the second week he comes back saying "The other guy who knows about paprika is also on vacation." I said you better not come back here next week without someone who knows something about paprika. He did it. But three weeks in the works. I called him Mr. Paprika as a joke.

Then CNN and Wall Street Journal called the newsroom after they saw our coverage, he got onto rolodexes around the world as a paprika resource. He came to love the moniker, once meant to be a joking reminder of the three week endeavor for a story about paprika.

So long Mr. Paprika, you were worth the wait and best part of the story was you.

* * *

Here also is a link to the Budapest Sun's remembrance, including a personal retrospective Carl wrote for the Sun back in December 2000.

We would love to hear any stories you may have to share about Carl.

Rick E. Bruner | Gen Expat Life Updates | Jul 14, 2004 | Comments (12)