”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.