Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

The film poster for "Lemon Island."



Film Screening & Discussion. Lemon Island
Reserve Your Seat

Important Note

Registration required. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community.  To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events.  Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues.  

Please join the East Central European Center and the Harriman Institute for a screening of Lemon Island, followed by a Q&A with director Gabriella Bácskai. This is part of the HARD QUESTIONS, HARD ANSWERS series of contemporary documentary films from Eastern Europe on social and political topics.

Lemon Island is a slum in the town of Nagykanizsa. It is a place with a unique atmosphere, which absorbs the viewer or visitor, and where the outsider suddenly begins to bond with the homeless, whom he would not have noticed or would have avoided on the street. The film is about a day in this place, it can be any weekday, from dawn to dusk, but it is more than just a day: it condenses the past and present of the residents of Lemon Island. As the hours pass and the daily routine of the residents goes on, the viewer get a glimpse into the pulsating life of a closed micro-society, into the relationship of those forced to live together out of necessity, and it reveals fragments of individual stories with old sins and broken dreams — occasionally reimagined. The factual and the beautified reality are blurred, the threads of the past twist in the way that they serve survival the most. The film accompanies the Red Cross employees on their daily helping tour to the world of the homeless living on the street. On those days, they get food, good advice, and consolation.