It’s Just Another Dragon

- LEBANON, HUNGARY / 2020 / Arabic, Hungarian / Color / Digital File/ 16 min

Director, Photography, Editing, Sound: Taymour Boulos
Featuring: Erika Hajós
Production: DocNomads Joint Masters Degree
Source: Taymour Boulos

Erika, a female Hungarian storyteller who came here from Transylvania twenty-some years ago and a young male Lebanese filmmaker who just arrived. He listens to her stories and, retracing her journey, he collects images along the way. We learn her thoughts, experiences, and the reasons she left her home. The princess, the castle, the dragon, the knights, the fairies, the king, the duel, the poisonous mushroom, and the magician. Inspired by Hungarian folk tales, the two each bring their own stories and entrust their words to one another rather rhythmically, weaving a layered visual story.

[Director’s Statement] I met Erika in May, 2020. I had to take two buses to reach her house, located at the other end of Budapest. One of the first things she told me upon our encounter is that she had become an oral tale teller following the bedtime stories she used to tell her daughter Virág. Years later, Virág was also practicing the art of tale telling. This made me think about the things that had led me to become a filmmaker. My mother had also transmitted to me the pleasure of listening to and telling stories. This common point with Erika perhaps explains why I was immediately able to connect with her.

Erika soon lent me a compilation of Hungarian folktales. Going through them, I realized that they all strangely seemed to talk about exile. A few days later, Erika invited me to join her in a folkloric tale telling event happening in the south of Hungary, near Szeged. During the trip, she told me she had migrated from Transylvania to Budapest in 1998—a year after I was born. This strongly resonated with me, having just migrated from a Lebanon in profound decline.

Talking to Erika somehow felt like talking to my future self. There were always many echoes between her stories and my own. That is why it felt natural to interlace our stories. It felt like an adequate way of honouring our encounter—by making a film about travelling, and the ways stories can save us.

- Taymour Boulos

Born in 1997, Taymour Boulos is a graduate of the DocNomads Joint Masters Degree. The program has taken him throughout Europe, making films in Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. His short documentary films include Anything Can Happen Now (2020), A Package and a Crane (2020), Sounds of Weariness (2021) and Encounters On An Uncertain Spring (2021). His films are at the intersection between his intimate experience and his encounters in the outside world.