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Czech town bans outdoor screening of film in which Roma resident performs

Duchcov, 26.6.2014 20:27, (ROMEA)
Klaudia Dudová and David Ištok, the stars of
Klaudia Dudová and David Ištok, the stars of "Cesta ven" (The Way Out). (Photo: Facebook)

The Aerofilms distribution company is cooperating with the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion to screen the film "Cesta ven" (The Way Out) in 10 towns that have problems with excluded localities. In Duchcov the film was meant to be screened outdoors in a public space in the southern part of town, which is mostly inhabited by Romani people.

The local council refused to grant permission for the outdoor screening, so local Romani residents watched it inside a (much smaller) local drop-in center. Inter-ethnic relationships continue to deteriorate in the town, where several marches against Romani people have been held.

Czech Radio reports that the mayor of Duchcov claims the problem cannot be solved. "That locality is already burdened with a wild nightlife, it definitely would not benefit peace and quiet among neighbors," Mayor Jitka Bártová said to Czech Radio when asked to explain the local council's decision not to permit an outdoor screening so more locals could view the film.   

"It definitely can't hurt, but I don't have the feeling it can help," Bártová said when asked whether she believed the film is good as an educational tool. Director Petr Václav's movie was screened at Cannes this year and, thanks to its all but didactically told story, is a brilliant example of a film that is appropriate for screening in the Czech schools.

The story is about a super-persistent Romani woman, Žaneta, and shows the trap into which Romani people in the Czech Republic usually fall due to the country's habit of ignoring the socially vulnerable and exploiting poverty. The film does not forgive Romani people either, portraying them not just as victims, but also as people who cause themselves a great deal of difficulty.   

The audience who attended the screening at the Květina drop-in center in Duchcov liked the film. One of its protagonists was played by a local boy, Julius Oračko.

rozhlas.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Cesta ven, Duchcov, Film, Petr Václav, Roma, Soužití



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