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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
88 minutes

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 “”, 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