Never Happened by Barbora Berezňáková is a new addition to the KineDok's 2020 catalogue. The film will be available for the Czech audience at kinedok.net from April 30 onwards. Online screenings and Q&As with the director will be announced and the film will be later available in all of the KineDok partner countries: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Romania.
In 1996, Robert is driving his BMW and his car explodes. He is dead. His death is portrayed as a mishap. In 1995, unknown perpetrators kidnapped the President’s son. Oskar, a member of the Intelligence Service and best friend of Robert, breaks the silence surrounding the Secret Service’s involvement in the operation. The investigation leads right up to the highest political circles, to the Prime Minister himself, who grants an amnesty in respect of the case, as if nothing had ever happened. In 2017, the amnesties are repealed. Does it mean, though, that the case will finally be solved?
The Slovak director Barbora Berezňáková worked on her creative documentary film Never Happened for five years. The project was developed within Ex Oriente Film 2017, pitched at East Doc Forum 2018 and was part of East Silver 2019. We are happy that it now becomes part of another activity of the Institute of Documentary Film - an alternative distribution platform and a unique film club KineDok.
Never Happened was screened at Ji.hlava IDFF 2019 and One World IHRDFF 2020, as well as the Warsaw Film Festival 2019 and got Cinematik.doc Award at Cinematik Piešťany 2019 for the the best documentary film. The film has been recently selected for the goEast online edition 2020.
“The deed did not occur,” proclaimed Vladimir Mečiar in 1996 on the murder of businessman Róbert Remiáš, which likely had a political motive and with which the Prime Minister himself was likely involved. His infamous dictum is an attempt to negate a documentary that combines an investigative approach with original filmmaking. The director builds her film on interviews with key players in the Remiáš case but does not limit herself to an austere presentation of facts. Alternating different film formats, from black and white film to VHS, she evokes a period of crime and highlights the central theme of confrontation with the past.
“I wanted to make a poetic political film. Engagé art should not give up on the style.” B. Berezňáková
About the director
Barbora Berezňáková (1987) graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and the New York Film Academy. Her filmography includes short films, music videos and video art gallery installations. For television, she made a short documentary about the witnesses of 1968 Ask Your Parents: 68 (2018), and an episode of the show GEN about musician Peter Breiner (2014). She also explored memories of the recent past in her gallery project entitled Remembering ‘90 (2015).
Never Happened (orig. Skutok sa stal)
Director and screenplay: Barbora Berezňáková
DOP: Barbora Berezňáková, Ivo Miko
Editing: Matěj Šámal
Music: Ľubomír Burgr
Produced by: LEON Productions, RTVS - Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska, Frame Films, Známa firma
82 minutes, 2019, SK, CZ