Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Film on Slovak ex-PM Mečiar part of One World

5 March 2018

Prague, March 3 (CTK) - Meciar, Tereza Nvotova's documentary film on Slovakia's former controversial prime minister that focuses on the split of Czechoslovakia and Vladimir Meciar's influence on the society, will have the Czech premiere at the One World festival of human rights films on March 8.

The film has been made in a Slovak-Czech coproduction. Its author, Nvotova, 30, is a Slovak living in the Czech Republic, who studied at the Film Academy in Prague.

She based the film on her much-acclaimed interview with Meciar from 2013, testimonies of witnesses and her own experience. She used archive materials of the Czech and Slovak public televisions and the Slovak commercial Markiza TV.

"The archive materials give quite a new dimension to the film, as the viewer can watch the developments in live transmission. Meciar in his home is a little bit different from the Meciar who spoke in front of hundreds of people or quarrelled with journalists," Nvotova has told CTK.

The film shows Meciar, originally a company lawyer, becoming a top political leader in the period of the division of Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s. It follows Meciar's Slovak governance until 1998, including all controversial issues linked to the period such as privatisation, amnesties, the president son's abduction and the suspected application of authoritarian methods unfriendly to democracy.

On the other hand, it describes voters' uncritical admiration for Meciar.

Nvotova said the film is a Slovak story but it deals with the general theme of manipulation in politics and political crime.

"Today, we are shocked at the death of Slovak [investigative] journalist Jan Kuciak, which is probably linked to his work. Such stories occur not only in Slovakia but everywhere around," Nvotova said, referring to last week's murder of Kuciak and his girlfriend.

"Twenty years ago, we believed that we got rid of the worst evil by toppling the Meciar government that combined mafia leaders with the state secret service and tried to silence those who wanted to tell the truth. Now we can see that it has not disappeared, only faces have changed. They are different but the things they do are similar, maybe made more sophisticatedly...I feel that it is impossible to continue keeping silent," Nvotova told CTK.

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