Documentarist says Czech rap artist Shot stands out because he draws from real life
The town of Český Krumlov in South Bohemia has a lively rap scene. Documentary filmmaker Viola Tokárová first came across the rapper Shot when she saw his clips on YouTube, filmed in the town's historical center and its ruined factories.
Tokárová was captivated by the authenticity of the clips and their strong images of life in social exclusion. She invited Shot to perform at an alternative music festival and eventually recorded several hours of conversation with him about music, rap, drugs, family, love and faith in one's fellow human beings, from which she has now created an audio documentary called "Shot" for the DokuVlny series on Rádio Wave together with the dramaturg Brit Jensen.
The documentarist first attended film school at the Studio of K. Zeman and H. Týrlová in Zlín. She then studied film direction at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) before returning to her native Český Krumlov, where she worked at a social welfare office and then in a café.
Her short films include "Tajemství" (The Secret), "Jan Hvězdář", "O mé velké lásce" (About My Great Love), and a musical film set in Český Krumlov, "Bordel z kapsy" (The Mess in Your Pocket). Together with her friends she established the alternative music festival called "Letňák v kině" and, in collaboration with Ivan Studený, produced an audio documentary for radio called "Černobílé Větřní" (Větřní in Black and White) about the town of Větřní.
Currently Tokárová works for the online ROMEA TV channel, where she is working on a feature-length documentary about the WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku in collaboration with Renata Berkyová and František Bikár. "I met Shot by accident. My cousin was working in a pizzeria and she told me about the cook there who raps. I watched his clips and, in addition to their humble, modest nature, I was captivated by his sense of rhythm and how exactly he was describing his lived reality in a way that is different from other young rappers with their crude baloney about a life they've actually never experienced," she said in an interview for Rádio Wave.
"It occurred to us that we could produce a concert for him. In the beginning Shot hesitated, though, he told us about his experiences with concerts where his 'friends' had ended up making fun of him. Eventually he agreed to perform at the alternative festival Letňák v kině. He had not performed for several years and he had stage fright, but the brilliant performance ultimately ended with the audience members running on stage to the mic so they could rap with him. After some time Shot began to tell me stories about his life," Tokárová said.
"I myself have experienced what it is like to battle racial and social prejudices, but his path has been much more difficult, whether that has to do with growing up in children's homes and foster care, or with his doubts about his own career and talent. He did eventually find his life's work in rap, and my cousin says he raps constantly - on the street, in the store, at work in the kitchen. We spent hours together debating God, rap, family and other subjects, and eventually we recorded this documentary in a park in Český Krumlov near the former home of Egon Schiele, where the fallen leaves were rustling under our feet in the autumn sun," the documentarist told Rádio Wave.
- Czech and Romani-Slovak rappers box each other in front of sold-out arena in Prague
- Documentary by Museum of Romani Culture wins award for best Czech film at international festival
- Czech Television presents documentary film about Romani singer Věřa Bílá
- BBC Three Documentary Exposes Human Rights Abuses In Hungary’s State-Care Homes
- Romani rappers P. A. T. and Rytmus in new video: Czechs and Slovaks are "drunk on hatred"
- "Europe: Which Children Matter?" Discussion in Ostrava on 17 November about Roma segregation in education
- TODAY! Livestream of discussion about segregation of Romani children after "Europe: Which Children Matter" screens in Ostrava
- Documentary film about Romani activist Jožka Miker brings his energy to the screen
- Czech journalist reports on her experiences working minimum wage jobs, book and documentary film to follow
- New Czech documentary about neo-Nazi who still lives with his mother at age 40 and hates the world
- Czech Television broadcasts documentary films for International Romani Day, producer reveals his Romani roots
- Czech documentary shows illegal Nazi salute being given at concert by xenophobic Ortel band
- ROMEA releases new Czech-Norwegian documentary film about aid for victims of discrimination and hate violence
- Czech documentary film about xenophobia, "Czechs versus Czechs", wins special honor at Jihlava film festival
- Film about Czechoslovak experiment with Romani children wins best documentary from Olomouc Film Academy
- Documentary film review: "Suppressed Letters", about a Czechoslovak experiment with Romani children
- In an historical first, Romani artist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas represents Poland at the Venice Biennale with “Re-enchanting the World”
- More than 3 000 people assembled to celebrate World Roma Day in Ostrava, Czech Republic - footage of performances here
- Antonín Gondolán: If you're a decent person who looks good, you can get things done!
- Czech capital to see announcement of awards for children's Romanes-language literature, video and visual art today - Romano suno 2021
- Final round of "Czechia Slovakia Has Talent" to broadcast this weekend, Romani family act makes the finals
- Romani artist from Serbia portrays death of Stanislav Tomáš, exhibition in Prague closes 9 December
- Tomáš Kačo, composer, improviser and pianist of Romani origin, to perform in his home town and in the Czech capital
- Czech popular music awards show returns, Romani singer Monika Bagárová schools racist rapper on live television
- Romani musician Tibor Žida advances to the next round of "Czechia Slovakia Has Talent" with his version of the Czechoslovak national anthem
- Romani singer Bertík Girga overwhelms "Czechia Slovakia Has Talent" jurors, evoking tears, hugs, and a standing ovation
- "How I Became a Partisan": Vera Lacková's documentary about Romani partisans screened at Czech film festival
- Czech gallery holds exhibition of visual antisemitism from the Middle Ages to the present