Czech documentary film "Passengers" documents transition from children's homes to adulthood
As of 15 January the documentary "Passengers" (Pasažéři) has been showing in cinemas throughout the Czech Republic, a film that is a co-production of Czech Television and the Film & Sociology company (Film & Sociologie). Speaking to ROMEA TV, director Jana Boršková said of those whose lives are the subject of the film: "Their authenticity captivated me so much that it was all the same to me whether they were from a children's home, or Romani people."
"They captivated me as human beings. I did my best to openly tell them what I wanted, and they got it and helped me," the director told ROMEA TV.
The protagonists of the film first met each other in a theatrical ensemble called "Passengers" and put together a play about how they imagined their life would be after they moved away from the children's home in which they had grown up - but reality turned out to be much more dramatic than their theater show. Pepa, for example, is working and has his own apartment, but he cannot handle breakups with his girlfriends and ends up in psychiatric care.
Pepa's brother Milan wants somebody else to take care of him and hides his vulnerability by acting out. He is living with his partner and has a son.
As for Pali, who ran away from the children's home three times to find his father, he has three children of his own today. Bajdy is living with his Mom and has long been unable to find a job, so he dissipates his sadness by smoking marijuana.
The film discusses the importance of the kind of love that knows how to set limits and provide a feeling of safety. "Jana had to fight for us to open up to her," Josef Pošmurný, another protagonist, told ROMEA TV.
"She had to be in situations where she herself did not want to be. Despite the fact that this was filmed six years ago, there is a legacy there, and that's important," Pošmurný said.
The director followed the main characters over the course of six years. The film was premiered internationally at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (MFDF Ji.hlava 2018) last year, winning the Student Jury Prize, and it was also presented at the Festival dei Popoli film festival in Italy and the This Human World film festival in Austria.
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