‘Golden Legends,’ Film About Hungary Water Polo Team, Setting Records

Team Hungary celebrate the victory of the men match between team Hungary (white caps) and team Spain (blue caps) at 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall B in Fukuoka (Japan), July 27th, 2023.
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

‘Golden Legends,’ Film About Hungary Water Polo Team, Setting Records

“Golden Legends,” a feature documentary about the Hungary water polo team that won three consecutive Olympic titles, has become one of the most successful documentary releases in that country.

Variety reported that the film, released nationwide at the end of April, has grossed nearly a half-million dollars with more than 87,000 tickets sold. The film was produced by Tamas S. Zakonyi at Flashback Filmproductions with a screenplay by Gergely Czurka and Otto Elek. It was released in theaters by Forum Hungary, with NFI World Sales selling the film’s global rights.

The film has passed the mark set by the 2016 documentary “The Horsearcher,” about equestrian and archer Lajos Kassai. It’s the most successful Hungarian film of any genre since 2021.

“We wanted to make a film with a feel-good tone, fast-paced, witty, but at the same time dramatic and emotional,” Zakonyi told Variety. “[I wanted to create] a cinema experience which has a swimming pool atmosphere, where viewers can relive, among other things, the Olympic final in Athens in 2004.”

Hungary is the most successful water polo nation at the Olympics, having won the tournament nine times and medaled on 16 occasions. He had gone nearly a half-century since its last title at the 1976 Olympics, though, as the Sydney Games in 2000 dawned. It had failed to even medal at the last three Olympics it attended.

Hungary lost to both Croatia and Yugoslavia in the group stage in 2000 before rebounding to beat Yugoslavia by one goal in the semifinal, then romp past Russia in the final. They ran the table in the 2004 by beating Serbia and Montenegro by one goal for gold in Athens, then saw off the U.S. in the final in Beijing in 2008. Five players – Tamas Molnar, Tamas Kasas, Gergely Kiss, Tibor Benedek and Peter Biros – were on all three gold-winning teams.

“Our goal is to see events through the eyes of the players,” Zakonyi said, “(and) the many personal struggles and behind-the-scenes secrets, in addition to the historical sporting moments. We wanted to bring smiles and tears.”

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x