Concept: Michael Trabitzsch, Judith Lentze
Co-production with: EPO FILM, Vienna / MYTHBERG FILMS, Budapest / LES FILMS D´ICI, Paris
No other country in Europe has, in proportion to its population, produced as many Nobel Prize Winners as Hungary.
In terms of twentieth century significance, Budapest is the metropolis of a golden age of civilisation, a refuge of humanism and liberty. Its fertile soil inspires the spirits of seven extraordinary young men from Jewish middle class backgrounds. Their families are worldly, secular and socially integrated.
When, with the violent hordes of the Horthy regime in 1919, the first wave of anti-Semitism breaks over Hungary, stigmatisation and oppression forces many into exile. Despite their great differences in disposition, talent and character, they are never in doubt as to the immanent danger of this epoch. Driven by an absolute desire to ensure their own liberty, and not fall prey to oppression,
they each become influential in their own spheres, and, in time, each will change the world in their own way.
Without the nuclear physicists and mathematicians, Léo Szilárd, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann and Edward Teller, the atom bomb would never have been invented. John von Neumann is one of the most genial mathematicians and visionaries of the 20th century. He is the inventor of game theory upon which military and economic strategies are, still today, based, and he is also the inventor of the first computer. The photographer Robert Capa greatly influenced 20th century war photography. The director Michael Curtiz is the maker of the timeless Melodrama »Casablanca«, one of the most renowned propaganda films of our time. Alexander Korda, producer of »To Be or Not to Be« and »The Third Man« was a personal friend of Winston Churchill, influencing British cinematic history as no other.
This documentary follows a clutch of young men, who, each in their own way, became a genius, in order to prevail in and despite the times they lived through.