One of our project’s aim is raising awareness about crimes among elderly. All the participant countries conducted a questionnaire survey in 2021, covering 20 questions. There were two questions dealing with the problem of being victimized by a criminal because of a person’s age, so our team is definitely dealing with this issue.
As mentioned in an earlier blog entry at our on-line meeting, 17 December 2021, we suggested to elaborate and test the following training program for elderly persons: Mindfulness under the psychological well-being module, accessing different public services - from online prescription to taking appointment. The other module will be dealing with raising awareness about cyber-crimes among elderly. Related to this last aim, we are happy to announce that a Hungarian director, Kristóf Deák released the feature film with the title „The Grandson” („Az unoka”) in January 2022. The 120-minute film draws attention to the emotional exploitation of the elderly, which in this case is a serious financial scam against elderly persons, living alone. Due to the fact that this method is very widespread in Hungary, it has already a special criminal name, the so-called “grandchild method” (“unokázós módszer”) and in cooperation with the police the media is trying to call attention to this serious problem.
What is the main point of this crime? And why can it be specially important to draw attention to this issue in our Wiselife project? The bottom line is that elderly people who usually live alone are being cheated out by making a phone call and deceiving them. The criminals pretend to be a police officer and claim that the elderly person’s grandchild is in trouble and need immediately cash to avoid major problem. Some minutes later the money should be handed over to an "official person" being of course also a criminal involved in this crime. „Loving grandparents fall prey to the scam, and they never forgive it to themselves. They feel like old fools, and sometimes they are not able to recover from the trauma. The family is left with helpless anger. I wrote this film because of them, for them – I wrote it for everybody,” expressed Kristóf Deák, writer and director of the film „The Grandson” in a statement (https://www.filmneweurope.com/news/hungary-news/item/120792-production-hungarian-director-kristof-deak-shoots-the-grandson).
Deák, a fairly young writer-director (born 1982) studied film directing at the University of Westminster Film School in London and film production at the Hungarian Academy of Drama, Film and TV in Budapest. At the age of 35, in 2017 Deák won an Oscar for best live-action short film for „Sing” („Mindenki). He is also known as a director for a feature-length movie, the Communist-era drama “Captives” („Foglyok”), “Best Game Ever” („Legjobb játék”) and as editing department assistant in „Munich” („München”) produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. So this renowned and internationally recognized director made a film about the emotional consequence of such a crime: it has serious and sad consequence both to the elderly person, the “grandpa” and the grandson, Rudi. The „coming-of-age drama, disguised as a crime thriller, with darkly comic undertones”, as Deák argues, has a plot processing a real sad story of his own life. After Rudi’s grandfather falls victim to an elaborate scam, giving all his money „voluntary” and „freely” to the criminals and dies some months later, the life of Rudi is turned upside down. „Pushed by guilt and a desire to bring justice to the criminals, Rudi starts his own investigation, descending into the world of petty crime – and finding peculiar allies along the way”, (https://variety.com/2020/film/global/kristof-deak-the-grandson-tamas-jordan-1234793175/).
Great young and well-known elderly actors appear in The Grandson. The film is exciting, twisting, crime-like and yet emotional. It is some kind of a revenge and Kristóf Deák stressed in several interviews that he wanted to draw attention to this kind of victim. We can only hope that the film will be shown abroad as well!
Barraclough, Leo: Oscar Winner Kristof Deak Starts Shooting Feature Debut ‘The Grandson’ (EXCLUSIVE). Retrieved 14 January, 2022 from https://variety.com/2020/film/global/kristof-deak-the-grandson-tamas-jordan-1234793175/
Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved 14 January, 2022 from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2038042/externalsites?ref_=nmbio_sa_3
Varga, Dénes: Production: Hungarian Oscar Winner Kristóf Deák Shoots The Grandson. Retrieved 14 January, 2022 from https://www.filmneweurope.com/news/hungary-news/item/120792-production-hungarian-director-kristof-deak-shoots-the-grandson