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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas


Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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11. Exposed and concealed Roma conflict: Representation of contemporary Roma conflicts in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary (Jadwiga Hučková)

← 152 | 153 →

Jadwiga Hučková

Instytut Sztuk Audiowizualnych, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Poland

11. Exposed and concealed Roma conflict: Representation of contemporary Roma conflicts in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary

Abstract: Roma conflict is one of the dominant issues that societies and cinemas of Eastern Europe should face. Recently, a variety of deeply touching films have been created such as Just the Wind (dir. Benedek Fliegauf) and Judgement in Hungary (dir. Eszter Hajdú). While the films show disgruntlement or even large-scale protests and riots, the films’ plots rarely present the causes of such events.

Documentary film projects with sociological ambitions, however, stand out above these films, they are knowledgeable and insightful but their range is only local. There are some exceptional cases that overthrow this rule, such as Moving a Settlement or The Roma King (dir. Viliam Poltikovič). On the other hand, the superproductions such as Koza (dir. Ivan Ostrochovský) or The Queen of Silence (dir. Agnieszka Zwiefka) mainly concentrate on the formal side at the expense of the simplification of the film’s content. My purpose is to present various variants of the representation of Roma conflict in these films.

Keywords: Roma, Central Europe, film, politics

“Roma Issue” has progressed to become one of the most serious areas related to Central Europe since the beginning of 1990s. The time of political transformation has created a new context for the issue present in the collective consciousness for many decades. This context is connected to an assumption about a contemporary solidifying of conflicts resulting from ethnic diversities. I am stressing the position of Piotr Balcerowicz who has tried to destroy two myths related to this matter: The first one claims that the number of ethnic conflicts has been rising steadily in the world, especially in the last decades, while the second one claims that the reasons for ethnic conflicts lie in ethnic, religious or cultural differences. 1 ← 153 | 154 →

The author notes a discrepancy in judgment, which he elaborates in the following way:

(…) the conclusion that it is difficult to explain a distinct increase in the number of ethnic conflicts in recent decades is problematic in view of the feelings expressed by the Western World, who, following the ideas and representations created by the superficially educated representatives of mass media and politicians (at least in the area of methodology indispensable to the conflict analysis or the analysis of intercultural relations), or in view of a schematic assessment of empirical data – are convinced that the most recent several years have brought a virtual wave of threats to which we have to ascribe the conflicts of religious and ethnic nature.2

These “common feelings” are influenced by visual representations (media, film among others) that change with time. It is important to note that media influence the shape of representations of ethnic and national minorities but not everyday encounters with their representatives. Before 1989, Roma minority has not been shown in the context of conflict or confrontation in Central Europe (which is particularly interesting in view of the fact that conflict helps construct dramaturgy of a document by itself). Roma people were observed with curiosity through the prism of otherness and uniqueness. Well-known documentary films Before Leaves Fall (Zanim opadną liście, Władysław Ślesicki, Poland, 1964) and Gypsies (Cigányok, Sándor Sára, Hungary, 1963), and fiction films – Rosy Dreams (Ružové sny, Dušan Hanák, Slovakia, 1977) – attest to these claims. There were also propaganda documents (documentary film Upre Roma, Dimitrij Plichta, Slovakia, 1955), but the representations of Roma peoples were relatively varied because they were based on the direct observation of this minority through years of coexistence. For instance, the prohibition to migrate from place to place has become a pretext for immortalization of this Roma custom in the film Before Leaves Fall, which has become an important document of Roma people migrating in summer for the last time.

After years of coexistence under the conditions of Socialism, which functioned as a unifying factor for various social phenomena, even ethnic varieties, in 1989, there appeared political system changes whose consequences, especially rampant unemployment, touched Roma communities as well.3 In this context, we could ← 154 | 155 → ask: Where do the causes of conflict with Roma people lie? It is worth remembering at this point that the genesis of these conflicts has always been associated with ethnic or religious diversity, which Balcerowicz divides into four categories: (1) Bad living conditions and extreme poverty, (2) repressive political system and especially the exclusion of some groups defined by their ethnicity, (3) destruction of natural resources and (4) cognitive dissonance. Another important factor leading to ethnic conflicts is a feeling of threat to the identity of the group. In reality, however, the four factors form a combination that includes number five as one of the four factors.4

During the process of political transformation, Roma people have seen their situation more acutely – they experienced a cognitive dissonance.5 At the same time, they learned how their communities lived in the Western countries. Their exodus, especially of Czech Roma people, to Canada has had far-reaching repercussions. Canada’s refusal to grant these Roma people political asylum has been well known as well as the circumstances of Roma people return to Europe.6

“To sum it up: it is not ethnic, cultural or religious diversity as such which creates reasons for conflict, it becomes an element of the process of the rationalization of conflict at the basis of which lies a sense of injustice and harm.”7 This sense of injustice is one of the elements underlined by the protagonists of documentaries. Even if we assume that the number of conflicts has not grown – the certainty that Roma people have suffered past humiliations is constantly heard by the viewers of television programs. ← 155 | 156 →

Media and the film industries of V4 countries cannot ignore the opinions or be dismissive about local conflicts. It is not by mistake that the bloody attacks on Roma people took place during the economic crisis of 2008, which coincided with both the government and the financial ones. Very soon, the deeply touching films on this topic emerged such as a fictional film Just the Wind (Csak a szél, Benedek Fliegauf, 2012) or a documentary film Judgement in Hungary (Ítélet Magyarországon, Eszter Hajdú, 2013). I concentrate on these films because I am interested in a conflict shown from the inside with full understanding of its genesis, possible conditions and outcomes. The ambition of these films is to reveal that the conflict exists all the time while it remains hidden from view. Its explosion is potentially possible in view of the social conflicts present in a particular country. A proper recognition of the essence of these conflicts has been a crucial problem in recent years. The discourse about national minorities has been greatly tangled up in politics, the demonstration of which we see in film reviews as well. Such an entanglement is not conducive to the objectivity of expressed opinions. Neither is it conducive to noticing a universal conflict in the situation of national minorities’ characteristic of any groups or individuals excluded or marginalized for any reason. Slovak film Gypsy (Cigán, Martin Šulik, 2011) is a good example of the presentation of one Roma boy in its universal aspect.

Among films illustrating spectacular conflicts, the documentary projects of the sociological ambition merit careful attention despite the fact that they reach only local audiences. Czech documentaries such as The Resettlement (Stěhování osady, 1992) and The Roma King (Romský král, 2009), both made by Viliam Poltikovič, are remarkable examples as far as audiences are concerned. In general, sociological documentaries underline civilization conflicts existing at present but possible to be moderated.

I would also like to examine fiction films on the border between fiction and document such as Koza (dir. Ivan Ostrochovský, 2015) and The Queen of Silence (Królowa ciszy, Agnieszka Zwiefka, 2014)8 duly noted and rewarded both in their countries and abroad. It is worth asking, however, whether concentration on the formal aspects of the films does not take place at the expense of the simplification of content and the dismissal of the crux of the problem. Another question concerns the avoidance of conflict or even the creation of a supplementary conflict. Protagonists of the films employing these strategies become media celebrities because they have been allowed to shine in the framework of big cultural or sport ← 156 | 157 → projects, the process that does not solve their problems at all. The success goes to the creator of the film though.

Latent conflict

In the films devoted to the topic of Roma people, we can identify several ways of the presentation of conflicts. One of the most objective approaches is paying attention to the existing problems but absent from or eliminated from the present discourse and pushed into the subconsciousness. This intention is vivid in the film Just the Wind,9 which from the beginning of its production in political conflicts.10 Just this fact has been noted by critics:

“In Flieghauf’s film it is the synergy between the actants who are invisible in the film like the wind and society whose representatives they feel they are, which is most frightening. The danger is more real the greater social permission for violence in society.”11

“The atmosphere of the omnipresent xenophobia fueled by the nationalist tirades of Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, makes the concern that former murderers will be followed by enthusiastic copycats quite credible.”12

The film is quite exceptional in Hungarian cinema. According to Strausz, “Fliegauf’s feature bonds the viewer first visually, and as a result, emotionally, with the Roma victims; a characteristic seen rarely in Hungarian fiction films.”13

Just the Wind reveals the present state and possible consequences, conflicts and threat unceasingly hanging in the air. As Strausz sees it, “Thus, the central dramatic question of the film – when will the attack against the family take place – keeps audiences at the edge of their seats. It is obvious that the assault will happen, ← 157 | 158 → and the alignment of the audience with members of the family results in an effect of suspense, withholding information about the already suspected outcome.”14

The atmosphere of fear is presented in an incredibly suggestive manner due to the construction of the film in a convention of a thriller. The director states that, “the perspective of the camera is taken directly from nature films. When (…) Attenborough tells about animals, he usually concentrates on those who are victims. The camera is not a weapon by itself – it only follows the protagonists under threat, and observes fear against the beast which may appear soon.”15

In the case of this particular film, the attitude to the topic, the awareness of the historical content, the expert preparation of the film content but also its final rejection function towards the presentation of an individual human drama. As Felis notes:

It is impossible to look at the murders and attacks as if it were a situation isolated from its context. What happened is closely related to the history of Roma people in Europe and Hungary accompanied by a long history of xenophobia and nationalist aggression, pseudo tolerance, mental prejudices and racial stereotypes. I have read numerous books, essays and articles about these issues but, at a certain moment, I had to discard this knowledge, reset mentally and concentrate on an individual human drama. Only this kind of drama can function in cinema, after all.16

According to Strausz, “Fliegauf’s film thereby constructs positive character engagement by allowing audiences to consecutively move through the phases of recognition, alignment and allegiance bonding them with Roma protagonists.”17

What does the director pay attention to, and what was impossible to be shown in the film? Exactly this hidden conflict that waits half-asleep to burst out at the end. The film convention did not allow for the conflict to burst out openly, although it is precisely this conflict that stays in the spectators’ memory. There was no space in the film to reveal the roots of what took place in contemporary times in the middle of Europe. Fliegauf openly states:

The characteristic of racist, religious and xenophobic prejudices is such that they function well when hidden from view. They rule in language use, jokes in the context where seemingly they do not harm anyone. However, it takes only a spark for them to burst into flame, Hungary and Poland being clear examples of that. One should hear what people ← 158 | 159 → in different parts of the world say about my film after screening. It is necessary to travel around cities, small towns and villages, in so called “civilized” European countries to experience the level of contamination with stereotypical, racist and totally nationalistic thinking which is truly striking and horrifying today. It seems that we are all dancing on a powder keg not knowing about it.18

Despite all the criticism, Just the Wind is an excellent example of a film that sensitizes its audiences to the threats present in contemporary times, the threats that result from confrontations and reveal their dimension. Just the Wind is often compared to the film Gypsy by Šulík the director who shows greater understanding for the specificity of the culture of Roma people than Fliegauf.19 The director and the screenwriter of the film from Slovakia have concluded that the worlds of Roma and the world of “white people” do not differ that much after all:

We did not want to mythologise, folklorise or romanticise Roma people. We wanted to show their lives in a natural way because life in a Roma settlement mirrors our world. The only difference lies in intensity: everything is more emotional, sharper and more instantaneous.20

Universal conflict

Gypsy has a universal message as it tells the story of a man in an uncomfortable existential situation. In settlements in eastern Slovakia, their problem is not of national nature but rather of social nature. It is a problem of misery, lack of education and poverty, says the film director. Ghettoes emerge as they do in every other part of the world as marginalized societies reflect on the value system in every country.

“Of course, a ghetto creates its own, tough principles. Poverty and hunger have never formed good people. The survival instinct often forces people to break the law. Adam, the main character in our film, is similar to any other young member of society who struggles to live one’s life. Inside, he does not agree with the world ← 159 | 160 → he sees around him but it is very difficult to find another way. He faces not only difficult social conditions but also the deformed ghetto rules.”21

This film, played in Roma language and with Roma actors, is part and parcel of the Slovak film tradition while it simultaneously enriches it. The Slovak film tradition implied wandering all over Slovakia in search of heroes, realistic locations and local customs. No theaters were avoided, including amateur theaters, schools, folklore sing-and-dance groups nor the artistic interest groups. Šulík states that this kind of work included another system of engagement with social groups based on establishing contacts, joining the group for a cup of coffee, getting to know who has been born, who died and who was arrested and learning about the incredible wealth of social levels at which Roma people function. The author shares with us a story of bricklayers who were never paid for their effort after finishing the job; he also tells us a story of a girl who was sold three times by her parents and who left her owners and studies now. The director knows more about Roma than he showed in his film. Thanks to this kind of approach, there is no feeling of artificiality or lack of adequacy in the means used in the film. The knowledge of Roma reality does not exclude the magic of visuals22 while the universalism of experience is an obvious good characteristic of the film.

Civilization conflict

Under the framework of the Czech group, Film and Sociology,23 two documents, The Resettlement and The Roma King by Poltikovič, have been created. The starting point for the story in the first film was the resettlement of Roma people to condominium blocks, the matter of particular interest from the sociological point of view. The film is not only about complex ethnic relations but also about political decisions. The decision about the construction of these condominiums was taken during the time of socialism and signaled the central solution to social problems. The construction project was finished but Roma people suffered from unemployment, a predicament more pervasive in the case of Roma than in the case of Czechs and Slovaks. The Roma King constitutes an extension of The Resettlement. Thanks to ← 160 | 161 → the use of archival material, we witness a certain process. The starting point is the present time in poor settlements. The way media wrote about the film resembled an embellished advertisement of a fictional emigration office:

The more ambitious and diligent Roma people leave for England where they find a new and noble life; the traditionally cosmopolitan society accepts them and they can live better lives there. There is also another factor which is important for seemingly unresolvable situation of Roma. The missionaries of new Christian churches (…) managed to convince Roma people that God is everywhere, and, if they do not want to go to Hell after death but to Heaven, to Jesus, then they have to follow his path and abide by his rules. The transformation of thousands of Roma people is unbelievable – the end of alcoholism, crime, usury, promiscuity and violence. They start new healthy and peaceful lives.24

Religious motivation is really important in Romas’ transformation. The film reveals the enormous civilization difference between the settlements in Spisz where living conditions are tragic and unemployment reaches 100 percent and those in cosmopolitan Sheffield where the happy migrants from Slovakia have landed.

Sequences in England were shot only during three days; however, it was possible to show not only this precipice but also the way it has been overcome. Key here is the statement of one of the protagonists. He proudly states that he has gained trust in his workplace. His behavior in front of the camera, the mimic of his face clearly attest to the fact that an opinion of an honest and reliable man is so valuable to him that he will not allow anybody to take it away from him. This is a value he never counted on. His career proves that in civilized conditions Roma can change their most established features and habits, the ones normally attributed to Roma. Because they are used to doing occasional jobs, they have not been used to systematicity, planning and thinking about tomorrow. However, when the stake is respect from Sheffield citizens, they conclude their efforts are worth it. The positive message of the film consists in the fact that the changes for the better have been shown, the changes that took place in a relatively short time.

Avoidance of conflict

Avoidance of conflict is a strategy seen in the films about “excluded people,” especially when the cause of this exclusion is poverty. The unemployed, homeless and orphaned children, for instance, are covered by programs that get them out of poverty and humiliation for a short and spectacular time. ← 161 | 162 →

The unemployed play international matches for instance and children have their dreams come true. For a short time they live with success or they are condemned to their fate in the film. The film Koza (A Goat, 2015) made by Ostrochovský includes many elements from reality. The main hero plays himself when he takes part in a story made up by the screenwriters.25

Peter Baláž is the eight-time winner master of boxing in Slovakia who represented his country at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Today he lives in a modest apartment, he gets half of the disability pension and he supplements his income with gathering scrap metal and delivering it to the scrap yard. The additional sources of income are ring boxing matches more or less once a month because he is not strong enough to perform more often than that. In the film, he is shown participating in an intense international boxing tourney in order to earn money because his life partner is pregnant and would like to abort the baby while he would like to save it. Anyway, he faces a challenge of proving that he is responsible for the family. The abortion dilemma has been probably created by film screenwriters but the director’s discussion of it is questionable as not really compatible with reality. Roma woman, Peter’s partner who lives in quite tolerable conditions, tries to abort the second child? The reasons for such a decision have not been shown in a credible way as Tomáš Hučko offers.26 In his opinion, dilemmas and paradoxes of the main hero situation required the presentation of a realistic social background. However, all the details and social specificities have been discarded as they did not contribute to the plot development while the colorful details and the social environment characteristics are particularly valuable in the case of this particular story. Baláž fights at local boxing matches somewhere in Austria or Germany. Unfortunately, the director has not revealed the realities of similar boxing matches, the reaction of the public, neither did the director show the relations between spectators and the gradually weakening boxer, in other words, the minimalist aesthetics prevented the development of the topic or exposed its specific dynamics. The minimalism of means of presentation, the lack of emotion, coldness and restraint, sophisticated shots and the preference for contemplation led to an almost manneristic effect that resulted in the indifference of the spectator who is left to admire the perfection of the minimalist construction.

The admiration for the construction of the film far from minimalism is profound in the reception of the film The Queen of Silence by Agnieszka Zwiefka. ← 162 | 163 → The film is classified as documentary portraying illegal Roma inhabitants of the camp near Wroclaw in which they have lived for over twenty years. Despite long contact with her protagonists and despite her own feeling of exclusion experienced during her former stay in the United States of America, the director clearly colors the film plot, which she justifies in the following way:

These children are truly happy. When I observed them, I was under the impression that they are much happier than the Polish ones who live in clean houses in which there is always warm food on the table. Polish kids, however, do not express this joy and love for life which Roma children do (…) we did not want to make an objective film of the social intervention reportage type. This was supposed to be a film about Roma community from the point of view ten-year-old Denisa. This is why the fairy tale aspect was so important.27

The purpose of the director was to deliberately avoid the classical form of reportage that she realized earlier: “I am no longer interested in the classical form of documentary when an interviewee sits and responds to your questions for twenty minutes. Everything is sad, nothing happens and everything is gray and dark (…) I am aware of the fact that this film is somewhere on the border between genres and is a kind of a genre hybrid. Alas, am I to make another sad film about Roma? Nobody would be able to endure it, nobody would be interested.”28

Showing the world from the position of a child and obvious inspirations from Bollywood cinema were criticized in press. “How come a deaf girl can dance to music? Well, it is pure guesswork. Denisa loves all the encasement of Bollywood films – colorful clothes, gadgets and sequins.”29

Musical scenes, combining documentary with fiction film, a kind of genre hybrid drew critics’ and spectators’ attention to a greater degree than the film topic itself. It became an epitomization of a specific artiste’s syndrome. In television practice in Central Europe, a solid reportage seems too banal, not in esteem and in its process of production is devoted too little time and money for its realization. On the other hand, a musical documentary has a chance to gain interest from co-producers interested in the international response to the film. ← 163 | 164 →

Surrogate conflict

Some documents may become questionable, especially the ones the plot of which is based on exceptional action, a mission probably planned for the film by the screenwriters. An example of such a film is Back Passing (Malá domov by Jaro Vojtek, 2008), which tells the story of David who wants to take part in an international football tourney in Serbia. A mixed football team is composed of Slovak and Roma boys. The trainer Roma Vlado Sendrei has gathered this team and even included boys from correction facilities. The spectator cheers on the young Roma boy who is about to be accepted for the team and hopes that everything goes well. Despite the fact that we may doubt the authenticity of some events, we observe with interest what has happened during the team’s stay abroad. Has the mobile phone really been lost to justify shooting of a scene expecting its return? There is also another more important question to answer: has this trip changed anything in the lives of protagonists “rented out” from correction facilities for a moment?

An optimal project in the context of the earlier-mentioned documentary is the film Tititá (Tititá, dir. Tamás Almási, 2015). It tells a story of a boy coming from a Roma settlement who got a chance to participate in a musical workshop. The long and laborious process of education, exercises and rehearsals during which the protagonist realizes that he is not good enough to perform has been perfectly depicted. The protagonist lacks basic skills and cannot cover the distance between himself and other participants of the workshop. In an act of self-defense, he escapes into illness, bad moods, and he shuts himself in. When he leaves for a short stay to his family settlement, he sees it in a different light. It comes to him that he will never have the conditions there to practice guitar play. With his skills, he will only be able to play to dance at the local festivities.

Taking all the political correctness rules into consideration, we are talking here about establishing a space for an average Roma person who has talent, but not as much talent as he needs to be truly successful in the music world. If he started practicing guitar playing when he was a three-year-old child, who knows who he would be today. At present, he can teach music beginners at most, so the chance for success passes on to the next generation. The conflict exists but is not spectacular. In the presented scale, it cannot impact viewers’ emotions, there is no great drama in the film or big wins, neither are tragedies particularly spectacular. The value of this documentary lies in prolonged observation – only then are acclimatization difficulties of the protagonist well seen as is the awareness of the loss more explicit. In Back Passing, we observe a single “success” of David, in Tititá, the causes of defeat of a nineteen-year-old Antal Kuru for whom it is too late to realize his dreams. He cannot have spectacular action without arduous process. ← 164 | 165 →

In my chapter, I have discussed the films of the directors from Central Europe. The Western perspective is also valid as long as one does not assume one fixed position. In my opinion, Western directors do not go deep into the analysis of the causes of conflicts while practicing political correctness that does not bring them closer to truth. There is a gulf between political correctness and reality, to which no proper terms are adaptable. In the case of Roma topic, there is danger of romanticizing and poeticization, especially concerning the past. This poeticization is the merit of non-Roma creators because in Roma culture, the question of historical memory is highly questionable. Coloring of the nomadic past is also a creation of the cinema as we absorb (both creators and spectators) this enchanting vision. The problem arises when we project this vision at the present and the future. Then we show an ideal reality whereby the cultural “otherness” is realized surprisingly in accord with the requirements of the contemporary world. The wishful thinking despite appearances has this negative effect that it pushes Roma people to the margin as the bureaucratized civilization needs a colorful embellishment (talented Roma musicians, for instance) that does not surpass the arranged framework.


Balcerowicz, Piotr. “Czy istnieją konflikty etniczne i religijne?” (“Do Ethnic and Religious Conflicts Exist?”) In: Zaawansowane zapobieganie konfliktom (Advanced Conflict Prevention), ed. Wojciech Kostecki. Warszawa: Katedra Stosunków Międzynarodowych, Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej, 2011, pp. 29–62.

Czerkawski, Piotr. “To tylko wiatr – produkt cynicznie skalkulowany.” 2012.,to-tylko-wiatr-recenzja.html (13 Jul. 2016)

Czerkawski, Piotr, “Publicystyka przebrana za sztukę – recenzja To tylko wiatr Benedeka Fliegaufa.” 2012. (13. Jul. 2016)

Felis, Paweł T. “Film “To tylko wiatr” o atakach na węgierskich Romów. Tańczymy na beczce prochu.” 2012.,75410,13019686,Film__To_tylko_wiatr__o_atakach_na_wegierskich_Romow_.html (26 Sep. 2017)

Głowa, Jadwiga. Dokument filmowy epoki Havla. Kraków: Rabid, 2005.

Hučko, Tomáš. “Minimalizmus, ktorý aj v hrubej dokumentárnej vrstve osekal ozajstný život.” 2015. (9 Sep. 2016) ← 165 | 166 →

Kruk, Adam. “To tylko wiatr, Reż. Benedek Fliegauf.” 2012. (11 Aug. 2016)

Madejski, Mateusz. “Królowa ciszy: Bollywoodzki dokument z Wrocławia.” 2014. (2 Sep. 2016)

Nowakowska, Katarzyna. “Agnieszka Zwiefka: Gdy oznajmiłam wrocławskim Romom, że chcę nakręcić o nich film, mówili o mnie ‘“dili”, co znaczy szalona.”,152121,17075984,Agnieszka_Zwiefka__Gdy_oznajmilam_wroclawskim_Romom_.html (23 Aug. 2016)

“Odchod Romu do Kanady.” 2000. (9 Jun. 2017)

“Rozhovor s Martinom Šulíkom a Markom Leščákom”. (20 Aug. 2016)

Strausz, Laszlo. “Producing prejudice: The rhetoric of discourses in and around current films on Roma–Hungarian interethnic relations.” Romani Studies: Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, Vol. 24, 2014, pp. 1–24.

“Televizní premiéra filmu Romský král.” Press release 14 Apr. 2009. (20 Aug. 2016)

1 Piotr Balcerowicz, “Czy istnieją konflikty etniczne i religijne?” (“Do Ethnic and Religious Conflicts Exist?”), in: Zaawansowane zapobieganie konfliktom [Advanced Conflict Prevention], ed. Wojciech Kostecki (Warsaw: Katedra Stosunków Międzynarodowych, Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej, 2011), pp. 29–62.

2 Balcerowicz, “Czy istnieją konflikty,” p. 7.

3 “The reasons for the strengthening of this radical attitude within society are manifold, and I do not claim to propose an explanation for them. However, many researchers locate the origins of post-1989 anti-Roma sentiment in the forced assimilatory programs at the workplace under the Socialist regime, during which Roma were employed in unskilled positions of the lowest prestige and pay” Laszlo Strausz, “Producing prejudice: The rhetoric of discourses in and around current films on Roma–Hungarian interethnic relations,” Romani Studies: Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2014), pp. 1–24.

4 Balcerowicz, “Czy istnieją konflikty,” p. 37.

5 Balcerowicz, “Czy istnieją konflikty,” p. 38. “For decades, a specific group can live in extremely modest social conditions and be convinced that a possibility for change is very small or the change of these conditions is not objectively possible. As a result, what I see as a critical change/turning point, there comes a whirl of dramatic changes followed by a different view of the group on their own previous situation.”

6 “Odchod Romu do Kanady,” Kanada na vlastni oci (2000): 9 Jun. 2017, Television NOVA has emitted a reportage within their program With My Own Eyes about carefree life of Czech Romas in Canada. Its message was: Roma people pack-up and come to Canada. Several hundred Roma from many Czech towns started selling their possessions in order to buy an air ticket behind the ocean.

7 Balcerowicz, “Czy istnieją konflikty,” p. 40.

8 At the International Documentary Film Festival “Flahertiana” (Perm, Russia), the film was awarded Big Golden Nanook.

9 The film refers to the events from 2008/2009 when six Roma people were murdered in Hungary.

10 Strausz, “Producing prejudice,” p. 3. “The premiere of the film in Berlin triggered a remarkable reaction by the Hungarian authorities (Ministry of Public Administration and Justice), which partially financed the production. At the press-showing of the film on February 16, 2012, the Ministry distributed a leaflet that suggested to the reporters and journalists how to interpret the film.”

11 Adam Kruk, To tylko wiatr/It is only Wind” Benedek Fliegauf (2012): 11 Aug. 2016,

12 Piotr Czerkawski, “To tylko wiatr – produkt cynicznie skalkulowany” [It is Only a Wind – a cynically calculated product] (2012): 13 Jul. 2016,,to-tylko-wiatr-recenzja.html.

13 Strausz, “Producing prejudice,” p. 8–9.

14 Strausz, “Producing prejudice,” p. 20.

15 Paweł T. Felis, “Film To tylko wiatr o atakach na węgierskich Romów. Tańczymy na beczce prochu” [It is only a wind about attacks on Hungarian Roma. We dance on the powder keg] (2012): 13 Jul. 2016.

16 Felis, “Film To tylko wiatr.”

17 Strausz, “Producing prejudice,” p. 21.

18 Felis, “Film To tylko wiatr.”

19 Piotr Czerkawski, “Publicystyka przebrana za sztukę – recenzja To tylko wiatr,” [Journalism in the disguise of art. A film review of It is only a Wind] Cinemaenchante (2012): 13 Jul. 2016,

20 [without the author] “Rozhovor s Martinom Šulíkom a Markom Leščákom” (2011): 20 Aug. 2016,

21 “Rozhovor s Martinom Šulíkom a Markom Leščákom.”

22 The film has been accepted by Roma themselves, which I experienced personally participating in the film screening for Roma people in their own natural environment nearby Roma settlements.

23 The activities of F&S was the subject of my book: Jadwiga Głowa, Film Documentary in the Epoch of Havel (Krakow: Rabid, 2005). I refer to one of the films discussed in that book.

24 [Press Release] “Televizní premiéra filmu Romský král” (2009): 20 Aug. 2016,

25 Tomáš Hučko, “Minimalizmus, ktorý aj v hrubej dokumentárnej vrstve osekal ozajstný život” [The minimalism that cuts down real life even in the rough documentary], Dokofilm (2015): 9 Sep. 2016,

26 Hučko, “Minimalizmus.”

27 Katarzyna Nowakowska, “Agnieszka Zwiefka: Gdy oznajmiłam wrocławskim Romom, że chcę nakręcić o nich film, mówili o mnie “dili”, co znaczy szalona,” (2016): 23 Aug. 2016,,152121,17075984,Agnieszka_Zwiefka__Gdy_oznajmilam_wroclawskim_Romom_.html.

28 Nowakowska, “Agnieszka Zwiefka.” The film author adds in the cited interview that the comparison of her document with the films of Kusturica was the greatest honor to her.

29 Mateusz Madejski, “Królowa ciszy: Bollywoodzki dokument z Wrocławia” (2014): 2 Sep. 2016,