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Documentary on WWII-era concentration camp for Roma in Czech Republic screening

As part of the international film festival AKE DIKHEA? (in Romanes, “Do you see?”) the documentary film “LETY”, produced by Romani community members Renata Berkyová, František Bikár and Viola Tokárová, will be screened today, Friday, 20 November at 20:00 on the festival website. “LETY” captures the efforts of many stakeholders in the Czech Republic to remove an industrial pig farm from the site of a Protectorate-era concentration camp for Romani people.

The feature-length film also reviews the ongoing debate in Czech society about the history of this site associated with the Holocaust and its Romani victims. Production of the documentary began with a team from the organization ROMEA in June 2018.

The documentary features footage from the archives of ROMEA TV and public broadcaster Czech Television, augmented by footage capturing events during the last two years, by survivor testimonies, and by interviews with people involved since 1989 in the efforts to remove the farm from the site of the former concentration camp for Roma. Investigative research into previously unclarified facts that influenced how the buyout of the farm by the Czech state developed was part of the filmmaking process.

The AKE DIKHEA international film festival is traditionally held in Berlin, Germany and features films by Romani producers presenting various topics and the world from a Romani perspective. This year marks the fourth such festival, and the expert jury has selected 17 films to screen.

The festival website will screen the selected films until 23 November. “LETY” was produced with financial support from Bader Philanthropies of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Embassy of the United States of America to the Czech Republic.