Film Archive

A Hole in the Head

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Slovakia
2016
92 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Janišová Feglová
Robert Kirchhoff
Miroslav Tóth
Juraj Chlpík
Jan Daňhel
Robert Kirchhoff
Václav Flégl
A small art gallery somewhere in Serbia which exhibits only works by Roma. Is Clinton not Roma, too? The gallery owner isn’t certain. But Antonio Banderas is Roma, and Yul Brynner. They just don’t have the courage to admit it. This touching scene of cultural self-assurance is part of a narrative about the Roma Holocaust which has been almost completely erased from European memory and whose traces the director follows meticulously. A film against forgetting.

We meet people from France, Serbia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland who got caught up in the Nazi murder machine as children. Rita was less than three weeks old when SS doctors performed horrible experiments on her in a Würzburg hospital. Her twin sister died, she survived with a “hole in the head”. Raymond, 90 years old, an extremely alert Roma, reminds us that it was the French Gendarmerie who herded them together, not the Germans. Today, the same police enter his caravan without a search warrant to arrest three of his sons because they came to his aid. So what has changed? A question that arises at every stop of this commemorative journey and forces us to take a stand and get rid of ideological garbage.

Matthias Heeder


Nominated for MDR Film Prize

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

My Unknown Soldier

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Latvia,
Slovakia
2018
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michal Kráčmer, Sergei Serpuhov
Anna Kryvenko
Andris Dzenitis, Yair Elazar Glotman, David Střeleček
Radka Šišuláková
Daria Chernyak
Anna Kryvenko
Viktor Krivosudský
The Prague Spring, Soviet tanks, the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops, the epoch-making year of 1968: the starting points of a family history between Czechia, Ukraine and Russia. “The occupation translates to a man with a dachshund being entitled to yell at a young girl in a tram because he can’t tell Ukrainian and Russian apart.”

A series of family album photos from which a man was removed sets Anna Kryvenko, a Ukrainian who studies film in Prague, on the trail of her great-uncle: the “unknown soldier”, to whom so many monuments are dedicated that one almost forgets that this sweeping gesture of remembrance refers to concrete faces, names, dates of birth and death, biographies cut short. After some initial hesitation the filmmaker’s family break their silence and gradually the pieces combine to form a new picture in which family and world history intersect.

Fabian Tietke


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize