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August 14, 2022



Czech Television broadcasts documentary films for International Romani Day, producer reveals his Romani roots

8.4.2017 9:17
Vít Klusák (PHOTO:  ROMEA TV)
Vít Klusák (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

On the occasion of this year's celebration of International Romani Day, public broadcaster Czech Television has been showing several documentary films mapping contemporary Czech-Romani relations as well as Romani history. The programming is being broadcast by the channels ČT2 and ČT art.

On Monday, 4 April, viewers were able to see the premiere of a documentary film by Tomáš Kratochvíl, "Czechs against Czechs" (Češi proti Čechům). "The filmmaker's personal experience with life in a Romani ghetto in northern Bohemia brings us an unconventional perspective on Czech Romani society and offers options for coexistence," the official description on the website of Czech Television reads.

"The film loosely follows on from Tomáš's remarkable debut film, 'Gadžo' (Gadjo). For me, this is an appropriate moment for my own multicultural 'coming out'... I have Romani ancestors and I am glad. My mother's great-grandfather was a Hungarian Rom," documentary film producer Vít Klusák said in connection with the broadcast on Monday.

On Wednesday, 5 April, viewers could watch a documentary film by Markéta Nešlehová, "Women (Re)present" (Ženy v poli), in which three protagonists refute the stereotypical opinion that Romani people are not interested in developing their personalities, educating themselves, and engaging with society. Then on Friday, 7 April Czech Television broadcast a program called "Gypsy Mission" (Cikánská misie) describing a missionary trip undertaken by Romani siblings David and Honza from the Apostolic Church in Bohumín.

That was immediately followed by a documentary film by Tomáš Kundra, "Suppressed Letters" (Zatajené dopisy). The film tells the story of the "School of Peace" in the village of Květušín, which was run during the 1950s in the Boletice military area.

The school was an experiment to test whether Romani children were "cultivatable" and could be included in the education system. The film follows 11-year-old Karolinka, the granddaughter of one of the pupils there, as she researches the history of the school.

Today, Saturday, 8 April, on International Romani Day itself, ČT2 broadcast at 9 AM a documentary film by Martin Pátek, "Mr Horváth's Meaning of Life" (Smysl života pana Horvátha). "This native of Děčín, a dispossessed 60-year-old Romani man, aids people who are even poorer than he is through his association, 'The Meaning of Life' (Smysl života) irrespective of their skin color. Many white Czechs, surprisingly, are his clients...," the distribution text published by Czech Television reads.

Tonight at 20:20 the premiere of the documentary film "Ida's Mission" (O čo ide Idě) will be broadcast on ČT art. "A documentary film about Ida Kelarová and her desire to change the world. Romani children from the Čhavorenge choir have 10 days to prepare during their summer camp near Bardějov under her direction for concerts with the Czech Philharmonic. These concerts could open the way for them to leave the ghettos or settlements they come from," the Czech Television teaser for the film reads.

That documentary will be followed at 21:25 by a documentary about the KHAMORO World Romani Festival from last year. The main aim of the documentary is to present Romani music to the viewers, and there is no doubt that the best possible way to do that is the gala concert from the KHAMORO Festival featuring Romani musicians from around the world.

The performing bands and musicians are also given space in the documentary to discuss their work. Czech Television will reprise its Romani programming into next week according to this schedule:

Monday, 10 April 2017

14:45 - Ženy v poli (Women (Re)present), length: 31 minutes

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

01:55 (after midnight) - KHAMORO 2016, length: 52 minutes

04:20 (after midnight) - Češi proti Čechům (Czechs against Czechs), length: 88 minutes

23:45 - O čo ide Idě (Ida's Mission), length: 67 minutes

Wednesday 12 April 2017

11:40 - Smysl života pana Horvátha (Mr Horváth's Meaning of Life), length: 27 minutes

Thursday, 13 April 2017

01:55 (afer midnight) - Cikánská misie (Gypsy Mission), length: 27 minutes

13:45 - Zatajené dopisy (Suppressed Letters), length: 52 minutes

Friday, 14 April 2017

01:45 (after midnight) - Smysl života pana Horvátha (Mr Horváth's Meaning of Life), length: 27 minutes

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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