Film Archive

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Doc Alliance Selection 2013
Fortress Lukáš Kokeš, Klára Tasovská

Trans-Dniestr: a living museum of Soviet-style communism on the borders of the Moldavian Republic. Propaganda, secret police, and a bizarre refuge from the dangers of modern life.

Fortress

Documentary Film
Czech Republic
2012
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pavla Kubečková, Tomas Hruby, nutprodukce
Lukáš Kokeš, Klára Tasovská
Lukáš Kokeš
Alexandra Gojdičová
Lukáš Kokeš, Klára Tasovská
Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic a.k.a. Trans-Dniestr. Imagine a space where time has frozen. The country, whose independence has been recognized by only a few other states, remains an isolated multi-ethnic enclave held together by an authoritarian regime. It’s a country where you are only allowed to film out of the window of a train, the locals are afraid of being denounced but are glad to live in a comfortable refuge from the hectic modern world, and songs on television celebrate the president. Time has stopped and life is stuck in a shape resembling the era of the Soviet Union. Somehow, people got used to the reign of the secret police and the fear of being spied upon. Soviet-style propaganda of the authoritative, power-based regime of President Igor Smirnov turns most of the PMR residents into simple workmen, without any will to understand how unbearable their situation is. Smirnov has been leading this non-existing country for as long as twenty years.
The film focuses on a couple of characters stuck in this geo-political gap, in between the European Union and Russia, in between the present and the past, crime and decency, decadence and hope for change. Framed by the time of the presidential elections, the film is presented as a trip to a museum of communist totalitarianism and analyzes the organization of a “non-state” and the rules of a regular life within.