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Easy Digger

Docudrama (Feature)


2010-Budapest, Hungary

János “Digger” Horváth is 47. He is a hard worker, a family man, a fighter. He works as a digger driver on construction sites. He loves his job more than anything. He has been doing it for 30 years. He is the “star” of the company. He is regularly asked to induct new starters and also to travel abroad to test machinery. He makes “okay money”.  Enough to make plans to build a nice, little home for his family far from the madness of city life where he can retire. He loves his family more than he does his job. Ildikó is his second wife and Benedek is their 6-year-old son who was born with a hole in his heart. Soon János starts building his dream home. With his two hands. He has 18 years before he can retire.

One day the construction company he works for employs a young digger driver and asks János to induct him. He is new to the job and not keen to learn about it. János soon finds out that his new colleague earns HUF 40,000 (GBP 110) more than he does. When he questions their employer, he is told: “Look, János, we pay him the money he came here to do this job for, and we pay you the money you stay here to do this job for.” János is infuriated. He has had enough. In a month he sells everything, packs up his family and moves to London.


János, Ildikó and Benedek have settled down. It has not been an easy ride. They live in a mouldy, one-bedroom flat, a converted loft, somewhere in Golders Green. János still does not speak English. But he managed to find work as a digger driver through different agencies. He works from dawn ‘till dusk. His colleagues call him a workaholic. He makes “okay money”. Benedek now goes to school. When they have dinner together, he sometimes uses English words János does not understand.


János starts writing a blog about his experiences, the trials, tribulations and also the good times he and his family have been having since they arrived in London. The blog gets more and more popular by the day among readers in Hungary and Hungarians living abroad. 


A Hungarian theatre director writes a play, Diggerdrájver based on János’ blog. It is staged in Budapest and soon becomes Hungary’s biggest success on stage for decades. 


Diggerdrájver is published in a collection of Hungarian plays about Hungarians leaving their country and starting a new life in different historical eras. It is also performed in London. János, Ildikó and Benedek attend the performance. They are very moved as fellow Hungarian immigrants congratulate them. They cannot stay long; János has to get up at 4 a.m. the next morning to go to work. He carries on writing the blog, one entry every evening. He still makes “okay money.” He has 10 years before he can retire.

Easy Digger is an intimate, feature-length docudrama exploring the everyday trials and joys of a working-class Hungarian family in today’s London. It searches answers to the questions: How and why is it possible for a successful, hardworking professional nearing 50 to leave his beloved country behind and start a whole new life with his family in a culture very far from his previous life experiences? How does the family navigate the, often daunting, experience of establishing themselves in a new culture? How and to what extent do they succeed and/or fail to reconcile their dreams with the everyday realities of living far away from their past and the country they love? 

Digger's Vlog

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