Vladislava Plancikova: Felvidek

… with the subtitle ”Caught in Between”. ”An Animated Documentary” it is said in the press material, and indeed it is, including all kind of animation techniques that I don’t have knowledge enough to characterise correctly. But what I can say is that I don’t remember to be so wonderfully surprised as I did with this film by a director, who does not hesitate to use the film language in all its beautiful range of possibilities within the animadoc genre: archive material, photos, interviews, ”normal” documentary footage in ”normal” speed and in fast motion, a personal commentary…

”A director’s quote from the press material: …the film was inspired by my family history. I was intrigued to hear a casual comment which my grandmother made one day: My great-grandmother – her mother – never got used to living in Slovakia. When I learnt that my grandmother’s family only moved to Slovakia after they had left Hungary – their homeland – I was stunned. My grandmother was only four years old and, naturally, she doesn’t recall much about the events of those days. Yet she remembers that the turbulent times after World War II dramatically affected the lives of numerous Slovaks and Hungarians. Today Felvidek is a Slovak territory largely populated by ethnic Hungarians. But back in the 1940s, thousands of people were forced to leave their homes and resettle. I never knew that! The postwar resettlement was never mentioned at school… Hungarians had to relocate from Slovakia to Hungary. 89 660 Hungarians left their homes in Slovakia at that time and 71 787 Slovaks from Hungary returned to Slovakia. My film has an ambition to show how postwar events affected the fates of people in both counties.”

It is a complicated story that the director wants to tell and sometimes along the watching of the film I found the explanatory text too dominating but that is a detail compared to the many superb poetic sequences, where images tell

the story of love and pain and sorrow in such an original and personal tone. The director’s voice has the tone of the naïve girl, who in her childhood never heard about these horrible resettlements that she lets come alive through beans, that are moved around to give us the the moving borders, or shoes that move from one side of the image to the other, or earthworms making their way up the soil or some pieces of wood being placed and re-placed and decorated with photos, family trees, and suddenly comes up a beautiful song with a text related to the theme of the film. It is one constant flow of images that are brought to you, cinematic history writing based on witnesses, diaries, emotions but also information, and an actual perspective from the young director who you see filming other young people from Telvik. They talk about who they are, about identity questions. What a journey… that ended with this viewer having tears in his eyes because of the end where earth from Hungarian Komlos is brought back to grandmother for her to place it in her parents grave in Slovakia. Wow for a climax!

The film has not yet been selected for intl. festivals. Let it happen!

Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2014, 75 mins. (a tv-version also exists)


http://vimeo.com/33685516 (Felvidek, trailer)

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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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