ON THE PRESENCE OF CHARACTERS
“ I think it is a lovely piece. What stood out for me were the characters, their presence. It was made alive by the songs and I had a strong feeling that I am with them together in the place …
“It made me remember my mother and grandmother, and what we shared, it created a very female atmosphere”.
“What made it so moving for me was something I would call “caring presense” – both from the characters and from Eva – in the tone of voice and in these little moments of providing slippers or taking shoes off”.
“These ladies were like the last Indian tribe lost on the mountain, that was very touching”.
ON THE CONTENT
“It was a very nice way to learn about history through the stories of these “little” people – it was big for me content wise.”
“ I loved this method to show a very important historical moment, in a very direct way, and full of emotion. It was a catharsis for me to hear these old ladies.“
“It is a very nice piece and at the same time I missed some critical questions – the relationship between Czech and Germans was very complicated, I would have liked you to „push“ them more.”
“I love this program, it was beautiful – it was lovely to listen to these ladies. I was wondering for yourself, what was your point of view about the events?“
ON THE USE OF SOUNDS
“It is a good example that paying close attention to a few sounds can make an importance … There was the sound of shuffling feet on the floor and the mention of the socks and the shoes – there were only a few details but it did a lot to characterize the place and give it atmosphere .”
“I loved it … You left in some bits which normally we might be leaving on the cutting room floor – for example the bit when she is telling you what to do with the teabag, letting the cat out .. all those bits made it really real to the listener.“
“I liked the moment when one of the ladies sings in a group, and then she sings unaccompanied and then there is a moment of silence and she says “Hop!!” and it is just a beautiful piece of production.”
“There was a transformation of the sounds – sounds that you might think are nostalgic like the cow or the cat later on took on a different meaning, were made more troubling …
“I liked the pace of it and how sounds returned, the little of details you decided to keep. The cat that came home was a nice metaphor.”
„I enjoyed the „economic use“ of the sounds – there were „just“ a few – birds, rooster, stream – often we put in too much sound and overwhelm the piece, that was not the case here.“
“I liked it that you made them sing – for me there was a strong link between the songs and the interview, the songs were not just “illustrative””.
„I really enjoyed your story from Trinksaifen as well. A very good idea to tell the story by the songs.“
“I agree … I really liked the program – I was just wondering if the voice of the narrator was chosen well .. I might have preferred a female voice there.”
“When I first heard the village chronicle, I though that was not a very inventive way to get the information, but when it was repeated suddenly it transformed into something really interesting -how a non-emotional statement can become emotional. I thought that was very cleverly done.”
Contributed to the debate (I am not quite sure who said what, sorry): Matti, Rikke, Philip, Julia, Steven, William, Nora, Benoit and others
We nominate this document as the first one in our selection – it is professional documentary work, a portrait of a specific community.
Czech Radio committee for the Prix Europa selection 2013 (June 2013)
I have never heard the Czechoslovak anthem sung in German, that was a real eye-opener for me!
Czech listener at the Jihlava film festival, October 2013
I would like to appreciate something that the documentary shows very well – the vanishing world of the German minority in our country. For most people it is difficult to imagine that this world existed. It is still here, although most Germans in the Czech republic are used to hiding their „Germanness“, but similar old ladies as in the documentary are still around us. It is amazing to meet them and it is interesting to meet one’s country thanks to them. The live here, they like it here, their relationship to the place is often stronger than for some Czechs, but they do see the country differently. I think that it is very enriching to see this country through their eyes and through their stories. So if you have the occasion to meet the German minority, please use it.
Ondřej Matějka, director of Antikomplex, during the debate on Czech Radio Vltava after the broadcast in March 2013
Powerful and important topic.
Pavlína Svobodová, Czech Republic
You managed to capture something very moving: a piece of real life. And thanks to this, a whole historical period.
Jana Knitlova, Czech Republic
Very very moving to hear the lady sing the anthem in German at the end! Knowing from you what the background is, it made it even more moving. When the voice starts shaking in the end, my tears welled up as well…What a story and history connects us…
Anja Struchholz, Germany
This is amazing. Even without knowing the language, so much of who they are, the environment … all comes through. What a great accomplishment!
Elsa Powel Strong, USA
It is amazing that you managed to capture the voices of these old ladies. I have never heard the Czechoslovak anthem sung in German, they did not talk about this in the communist schools. In fact, with 37 minutes, your documentary would be perfect for a school history lesson – for the sake of repairing the informational injustice perpetrated on Czech children.
Ton Eres, Czech Republic
Please send us your comment or question!
After the broadcast of the documentary in March 2013, Eva Nachmilnerova led a discussion between Eva Blechova, the documentarist, and Ondřej Matějka, director of Antikomplex. It lasts 20 minutes and deals with the background topics of the documentary.