The Border

Director: Jaroslav Vojtek

Slovakia, documentary, 72 min., 2009, lithuanian and english subtitles
An insightful documentary about an absurd phenomenon – a state border pointlessly dividing not only the village of Slemence in Slovakia, but also the fates of its people. One day in 1946, the village was accidentally divided between two states – Czechoslovakia and the Ukraine. Cemeteries, fields and entire families were separated. In order to reach the other side of the border, villagers have to travel 150 km to the city to get a visa. Relatives are forced to talk through a fence to share the latest news on the marriages and funerals of their loved ones… It is a painful story about political decisions made “on paper” that can have dire consequences in reality.

2009 – Best East and Middle European Documentary at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in Czech Republic.

About the director:
Jaroslav Vojtek was born in Žilina, Slovakia, in 1968. He graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava, Film and Television Faculty, with a qualification in directing documentary films. He debuted in 1993 with a short documentary “Blind Belief” (Slepá viera) about a gravedigger loyal to socialist ideals. His short fiction film “Dreamers” (Rojkovia, 1999) is one of the six stories comprising “The Magnificent Six” (Šest statečných) project. In 2000, this project was introduced in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The full feature film “Here We Are” (My Zdes!, 2005) about a Slovak family returning home from Kazakhstan was also screened at the Karlovy Vary festival and won more than 8 international awards. The documentary essay “A Journey for a Dream” (Cesta za snom, Slovensky sen 2004-2006) filmed in 2006 tells of the search for a Slovak Dream. “Back Passing” (Malá domov), introduced two years ago, is the story of a Roma boy who wanted to participate in an international football tournament in Kragujevac, Serbia.

Section: Identity

Screenplay: Jaroslav Vojtek, Marek Leščák

Dir. of Photography: Tomáš Stanek, Jaroslav Vojtek

Music: Peter Groll