Original Film Slovakia 2.0 Crosses Boundaries Online and for Free!
The big celebrations of the quarter century since the dispersion of the communist cloud above Czechoslovakia also call for a big reflection. While the Czech Republic is still waiting for a major cinematic evaluation of its democratic maturity, Slovakia prides itself on the film mosaic Slovensko 2.0, composed of short ten-minute films of diverse genres made by ten renowned Slovak directors.
“What is the genetic or programming code of the software of Slovakia? How is it used, how does it change?” Such were the questions asked by two Slovak producers Zora Jaurová and Mátyás Prikler at the beginning of the project. In 2013, 20 years had passed since Slovakia became independent from the Czech Republic, having boasted the status of a democratic country for even a few more years. That is why it seemed both tempting and inevitable to make a general commentary on the turbulent social events, many of which were symptomatic of post-communist countries. The producers, however, decided for a different concept of reflection. They chose to tell its story by means of the attractive medium of film, selecting ten renowned and distinct Slovak filmmakers for narrators.
The producers explain their decision to start the project in the following way: “Slovakia, as one of the youngest countries in Europe, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its modern history in 2013. The twenty years of the first democratic state in this region are a perfect opportunity for various kinds of reflection and retrospection. In the field of film, this opportunity is even more significant, since the short history of Slovak film of the independent era has brought rather isolated works than a complex stream of cinema to comment on the events moving the society. At the same time, however, there are several generations of remarkable film personalities of various film genres in Slovakia.”
It is the presence of different filmmakers behind the camera that gives the film Slovensko 2.0 a unique genre diversity, ranging from animated, feature and documentary film to experimental forms. The ten short films were made by three women and seven men; Viera Čákanyová, Zuzana Liová, Iveta Grófová, Juraj Herz, Martin Šulík, Peter Kerekes, Mišo Suchý, Ondrej Rudavský, Peter Krištúfek and Miro Jelok.
Legend of Slovak documentary film Martin Šulík has chosen a theme that is relevant in the current November days; a memory of Václav Havel. In his short film President’s Funeral he reflects on the death of Václav Havel as a moment of the end of a social epoch during which the society wasted its chance to fulfil the humanistic ideals of communality and solidarity.
Renowned documentary filmmaker Peter Kerekes, too, tends towards a negative perception of contemporary Slovak society, reflecting on the motive of a foreign country’s arrival in a state that is not able to take good care of itself in his film Second Chance. “Twenty years ago, Slovakia was unprepared to govern itself. With the current pace we are likely to reach democracy in about 200 years”, the director claims uncompromisingly.
The great of Slovak cinema Juraj Herz, on the other hand, offers a comic, even slightly satiric view of his native village of Kežmarok he revisits as its honorary citizen, revealing the places that are connected to the history of his family in his short film.
Watch ten original narratives from the film album Slovakia 2.0 online at DAFilms.com from Monday, November 17 to Sunday, November 23, 2014 for free!
Films for the event
Čestný občan (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“I left Slovakia when I was twenty. Ever since then I was coming back essentially as a foreigner. I was a bit frightened, when I received the invitation, as I was wondering what I could come up with for the film. Then I remembered how much fun I had when my native Kežmarok awarded me the Honorary Citizenship and I realised that it could be turned to a satire..."
Pssst! (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“If you want to criticize something, you have to start with yourself. If you want to make fun of something or someone, you must allow and experience self-irony. If you are not critical and sarcastic mainly towards yourself, you have no right to bring in a verdict. Not even in film, let alone in life..."
Rupicapra (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“Through my film Slovaks can look at themselves from the perspective of Michael – someone who is somewhat odd, even nasty at times, but is not stupid; who happens to come from a superpower, a country that is culturally and politically incomparably more influential than Slovakia..."
Jediná známa fotografia Boha (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“I spent half of my life under communism. The regime change came as I was starting to think about the world and developing my views. The 1990s were fascinating, frenzied, filled with hope. I am thus someone who stands on one foot in the old world and on the other in the new one..."
Discoboj (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“I see a significant parallel between his life since about 1993 and that of Slovakia. It seems that, in a number of aspects, he has been through similar developments as Slovakia. He started standing on his own in the 1990s; he had a dream of having his own dance club and pursued it stubbornly. He experienced, similarly to Slovakia at its foundation, the era of business-mafia in the 1990s..."
Pravidlá hry (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“I was born here and lived here during communism. Then I emigrated, thus somewhat tearing myself away from this context. Yet it remains one of my homelands. I like coming back here. For my film I reviewed history of Slovakia. It is not, however, just a film about Slovakia..."
Návraty/Returns (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“My wife Lidka is an American, as are our sons Myko and Marko. Their grandparents are Slovaks and Ukrainians. The older, Myko, will play lacrosse for the Slovak national team this year. Grandpa Michael wants the younger one, Marko, to learn to play Slovak folk songs on saxophone..."
Bez vône (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“I had a number of motifs. Yet the one that won was about the sense of futility related to unemployment. I was guided by the fact that a simple man is virtually of interest to no one. He is part of a mass. I chose in the mass an inconspicuous simple woman..."
Druhý pokus (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“I once said in a pub as a joke, that a country that cannot democratically help its development and to reach a degree of normality, has only one option: to invite the assistance of a foreign army. That was when I returned from a month-long stay in Finland. I was thrilled about the country..."
Pohreb prezidenta (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 10 min
“Václav Havel was the bearer of the values that were at the start of the societal changes in 1989. Truth and love were to win, though ultimately the fight was about political power. There were debates about equality in law, about justice, tolerance and the need for solidarity. None of the ideals has been yet fulfilled..."
Slovensko 2.0 (Orig.) / 2014 / Slovakia / 112 min
What is “Slovakia”? How to explain the notion of “Slovakia” of the past 20 years to an unknown stranger, a visitor from another planet? What is the genetic makeup or the software for “Slovakia”? How to use it? How does it change?