Empire Builders and My Unknown Soldier – the newest additions in East Silver Caravan

24. 4. 2018

Author: Veronika Zýková

Two documentaries have been recently added to the catalogue of East Silver Caravan: Andran Abramjan's film about right-wing populists Empire Builders and My Unknown Soldier (dir. Anna Kryvenko) capturing events of the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 from Russian soldier's point of view.

The docufiction essay Empire Builders portrays self-taught but ambitious right-wing populists who long to play a high-stakes game and act as fictional characters, grey eminences, real experts or manly heroes. Through the character of a propagandist cinematographer and movie freak, the film follows the builders of a Czech local movement agitating against Islam and immigration in a country which refuses to accept refugees and where no refugees come. The film was premiered at this year's edition of One World IHRDFF.

When in 1968 the armies of Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia, not only Czechoslovak citizens were suffering, but also the occupiers, because they were often called in the army at the last minute and they didn‘t know the purpose of their mission. They tried to cope with the terrible aftermath. Director's grand-uncle was one of The Warsaw Pact invasion soldiers. He later commited suicide because of the occupation. In My Unknown Solider, Anna Kryvenko uncovers a family taboo: the grand-uncle was cut out of family photos by his mother who pretended he had never existed. This way the director uncovers other similar stories and themes. The premiere of this Czech-Slovak-Lithuanian documentary is planned for August 2018.

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