by Sibel Guvenc

Throughout history people have always tried to find a way to understand and cope with the 
meaning of life and death. With the enigmatic nature of death comes a sense of fear that is 
deeply entrenched in ancient and modern cultures. Death has loomed as one of the most 
sensational mysteries and perhaps the last inevitability that people must face in their
incomprehensible destiny. In many societies, people believe that death comes to them as 
God’s will, whenever the time is right. Through faith people accept this fate. 

'Hungarian Salami’ is a story about myth, ritual and imagination. The film unfolds in a 
transitional state between the human and supernatural world and depicts how myth, that 
cannot be explained by logic, familiar knowledge or beliefs, challenge realism. However, 
as the film progresses we realize that the beliefs and the rituals demand a totally different 
perception as it is stated by the protagonist – Louis: “I know some of the things in life are 
not in our control or in our best intention, but still we can not let everything go through its 
own natural course. We occasionally need to interrupt or interfere for our own happiness.”

The story is placed in early spring in a small European village in an unknown past with its 
saturated, dense colors and mysterious environment. The story is told through Louis, a crotchety, 
stubborn cook who runs a family    operated restaurant. The characters have comedic presence 
with an original look. The film builds a transitional state between the world of real and fantasy, 
taking us to a ritualistic journey into the myth of resurrection accompanied by ethnic jazz music 
with accordion, brass and wind instruments. 

I am inspired from magical realist writers. Rebecca, one of the characters in Gabriel Garcia 
Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, carries her dead parents’ bones all the time 
thinking that they might  come back to life. Ben Okri’s ‘The Famished Road’ is about Azaro, a 
spirit child who can’t stay long in the world of the living, chooses to fight death and face hunger 
rather than return to the land of spirits. Paul Coelho with his novel Alchemist says “When you 
really want something to happen, the whole universe helps your wish to come true”. 
In Hungarian Salami, the maturity, knowledge and strength of an old man unites with the purity,
imagination and energy of a young boy to create the magical power. Mysteries of love and human 
survival are the core of all these stories.