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‘Narrow Path to Happiness’ Director on Countering Stereotypes, Negative Messages about Roma, LGBTQ+ Communities in Hungary

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Tara Karajica In “Narrow Path to Happiness,” Hungarian director Kata Oláh follows a young gay Romani couple from a remote village in Hungary whose dream it is to make a musical based on their lives.

Just as the Hungarian government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and hostile toward LGBTQ+ people, they move to the capital.

The film played in the International Competition at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival this week. The younger protagonist, Lénárd Váradi, who was 16 years old at the time, reached out to the National Film Institute in Hungary, asking for contacts and looking for a producer who would help them apply for a script development grant.

Oláh, who also edited the film, says she couldn’t believe it. “I thought somebody was joking! It cannot be real! So, I said, ‘Sure, let’s meet.’ And then, we met and I fell in love with them and said: ‘You know, it doesn’t work like that; we can’t just apply for a script grant.

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