Film Archive

Eugenic Minds

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Slovakia
2013
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jiří Konečný
Pavel Štingl
Jaroslav Kořán
Miroslav Janek
Tonička Janková, Otakar Šenovský
Jan Míka
Pavel Štingl
Vladimír Chrastil
Expressive faces, body parts, anatomical associations. Human beings come in a variety of forms: “Some are smart, some are dumb, some are good-looking, some are ugly …” The term eugenics comes from the Greek. It means something like “good lineage” and is the term used for the science of improving genetic disposition by choosing the right sexual partner. In order to spare humanity “genetic burdens”, the smart and good-looking ones are chosen. If humans make the selection, they take “God’s work into their own hands”. The Third Reich used and expanded this science to serve its ideology, with the result that the term was avoided and at last forgotten. Captivating archive material, original animations and their graphic “insemination”, for example when the “transparent woman” frequently mingles with the crowds, reflect the narrative of a fascinating science practiced to the point of lunacy. This tale reveals more about the human species than any anthropometrical measurement ever could.

Claudia Lehmann
FilmFestival Cottbus 2013
Vojta Lavička: Ups and Downs Helena Třeštíková

A long-term observation of a Czech Roma musician who makes the charts with his band but continues to fail in his own community and due to the ethical stigma attached to him.

Vojta Lavička: Ups and Downs

Documentary Film
Czech Republic
2013
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hana Třeštíková
Helena Třeštíková
Jiří Chod
Jakub Hejna
Helena Třeštíková
Czech director Helena Třeštíková specializes in long-term observations, always following several protagonists at the same time over years. Vojta Lavička has been one of them since 1996, a highly talented violin player and Roma who tries to make his way as a musician and would love to call the Czech Republic his home. But circumstances are against him. When the CSSR was still a socialist country, he had nothing to fear. But when the country was divided and proudly joined the EU, the situation changed dramatically. Now the only place he feels safe is on stage, were he is celebrated. The band in which Lavička plays confidently call themselves “gipsy.cz”, playing a style somewhere between gypsy groove, Balkan folk or Romano hip hop. Whatever you want to call it, they regularly bring the house down. One of their records even went gold once. In life, though, he has to suffer humiliations because his dark skin tone makes him easily identifiable. His girl-friends’ mothers forbid the relationships, he is threatened, starts to drink. Třeštíková soberly takes stock, following the strict chronology of events. Lavička fights this stigma, strongly at first, then more and more desperately, though he would love to bear it with pride.

Cornelia Klauß