Cinematic resistance against oblivion. A must-see documentary about the Sinti and Roma victims of the Holocaust in WWII Slovakia. Documenting her own family history and the heroic and dramatic life of her great grandfather, the Roma director Vera Lackova sheds light onto an aspect of the Slovak history during the Nazis which is rarely discussed: the Roma resistance.
75 years later, Vera Lackova sets off to trace her great grandfather’s past, on what is also a quest to find other Roma partisans - who often go unmentioned - in the scope of memorial celebrations. But during her search, she comes up against deeply rooted prejudice, indifference and hatred towards the Roma community. Her motivation is to demolish the long-held stereotype of Roma as mere victims of Nazism. She shows on screen stories of Roma people whose deeds go beyond the history of a minority ethnic group and deservedly form part of European history.
inclusive Q&A with the director Vera Lackova
"I promised my grandmother to save Roma partisans from an oblivion that would be basically their second death. That's why I assumed the metaphoric role of a modern-day partisan who is fighting against oblivion. Communism contributed to the fact that Roma partisans and Roma heroes of the resistance went unrecognised. Communists wanted to assimilate Roma people and prevent their emancipation, and that's why these Roma stories remained unknown."
More Romani stories
In Focus: Romani Stories by Romani (Female) Directors! is a special programm of ENFF.
Eight films: fiction feature, documentaries, shorts and animations that deal with the Roma community in Eastern Europe and are directed, written and produced by filmmakers of Roma origin.
Their films highlight themes such as freedom, political and personal identity, fears, dreams and hopes of the nation that for centuries felt unsettled and unwelcome in so many countries of the world.