- 'What is Hungarian?' was the key question that exercised interwar Hungary. The trauma of the peace of 1918 sent the country searching for its true identity. Films were seen as part of the cultural discourse responsible for the shaping of national identity. As talkies took off, audiences, filmmakers, critics, and officials began to question the Hungary they saw on screen. The debate escalated quickly: was the Hungary familiar from the screens also familiar from 'real' life? Was Hungarian cinema truly Hungarian? Did the participation of Jewish Hungarians in the film industry make the sector and the films Jewish? Could Jews be Hungarian? The answers proposed were that the films were Jewish, and to be Hungarian was to be not Jewish. It was decided that Hungarian cinema should become purely Hungarian. Acts of Parliament were passed to ban Jewish Hungarians from above-the-line roles. This nominally racially pure industry produced over 200 films in 1938-1944. This book tells the story of Hungarian sound cinema and the debates that shaped and distorted screen representations of Hungary up to 1944, using original interdisciplinary research based on a fresh look at the film texts, their context of production, and the critical canon.