Czech Republic, 2012, 70'
Klára Tasovská / Lukáš Kokeš
The film starts with an interdiction: "No shooting while the train is stationed!". For the next 70 minutes we are swiftly introduced to the daily life of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria), a separate republic located on a strip of land along Moldova's border with Ukraine – a so-called ‘modified democracy’, where freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are under tight state control. Pridnestrovie has its own elected president, legal system and passport; the latter is largely useless when it comes to traveling abroad, as the state is not recognized by any other country apart from itself. Life in Pridnestrovie is difficult, but President Igor Smirnov believes his country to be a paradise on earth – and with some careful orchestration from the media and a couple of eccentric election videos, even some of the country’s citizens start thinking along the same lines.
Fortress offers some revealing snapshots of the lives of ordinary people living in Pridnestrovie. Nothing from the discrete daily agony of this communist theme park carved in concrete and adorned with hammers and sickles, resembles those 'everyday rebellions' that provide the topic of this section of our program. And yet, the presidential election documented by the film finally brings an end to the 20-year reign of Igor Smirnov. Will that be for the better?
15 March, 20:00, Cinemateca Eforie
16 March, 16:00, Cinema Corso
"Czech Joy", Best Czech documentary, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic, 2012