Return to Epipo

Judit Oláh

Dutch premiere

In the 1980s, Epipo was one of the most exciting summer camps in Hungary. But under the surface, it turned out to be rife with secrets and abuse. Filmmaker Judit Oláh attended Epipo as a child. Now she gathers a group of her fellow-campers to re-enact their experiences.

When she was 6 years old, Judit Oláh’s parents sent her to an Hungarian summer camp taking place in an imaginary land called Epipo. The land had its own anthem, religion, rituals and a secret sign language. Visiting four summers in a row, the camp was mysterious, magical and exciting for Judit, not least because of its leader, the charismatic and cool Sipos. But was that the whole story, or is she suppressing things?

Now, some 30 years later, Judit gathers a group of her old campmates to recreate the experience. Slowly the memories return. The fact that games and camp rules could become humiliating for example, and that punishments were often physical. And the abuse didn’t end there. As more memories and feelings come to the surface, tensions rise within the group: were some of them complicit? And is everybody telling their whole story? Sobering tale about the damage that can be done in youth, with lots of footage from the camp.

Credits

Director
Judit Oláh
Year
2020
Country of production
Hungary
Type
Documentary
Duration
84 minutes
Spoken language
Hungarian
Subtitles
EN