Tereza Nvotová: Mečiar

”Vladimir Meciar was the first Minister of Interior post Velvet revolution of 1989 and the threetime re-elected Prime Minister of Slovakia. He was an undeniably charismatic politician „ loved by the nation“ and his profound influence on the contemporary political climate of Slovakia cannot be doubted. His final period in government 1994-1998, was marked by an authoritarian almost autocratic rule, misuse of power in the biggest privatisation causes and scandals and unauthorised activities of the secret services. It was this governance which ruled Slovakia out of the process of being accepted in the EU and NATO…”.

These words come from the website of the film about Meciar, link below. The film that has the subtitle ”Lust for Power”, was the opening film at the Jihlava festival recently, understandable as it deals with a politician known, hated and loved in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

I met Tereza Nvotová in March in Prague this year, where she

presented some clips from the film and took me by surprise that she, less than 30 years old, could get access to a man, who otherwise has left public life and does not want to give interviews. Why did he allow Nvotová to film him? Because she is young and does not pretend to be a journalist?

Anyway, young Tereza Nvotová has made a good film. She manages to give an overview of the life of Meciar through asking several people, who worked with or for him, she keeps a personal first-person narration with herself in the picture here and there. And she brings wonderful private archive material to the screen, from when she 10 years old in 1998 ”plays” a journalist interviewing tha father of the country. Lots of archive is used.

The film is light in tone, it has the journalistic approach /where, when, where) when it unveals the life of a dictator, who in his seventies looks like a grandfather, alone maybe in his ”castle” as the director says, when she comes to visit.

Honestly, it is difficult to follow the complicated Slovakian political game, that Meciar was a part of or was setting up. For someone from outside the two countries. I would have loved to have more of him in his retired life and less facts, but maybe there is not so much more to pick from. When Nvotová asks about the kidnapping event of the President Kovac’s son, he says that he knows much more about the role of Kovac but he does not want ro say what now.

On the other hand I think I know a bit more about why Czekoslovakia was divided in 1993 with two political animals as the main players: Vaclav Klaus and Vladimir Meciar. The film goes well in the cinemas in its own country, more than 10.000 tickets sold in the first weekend.



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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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