dir. DOMINIKA KOVACOVA
Did you ever play a game as a child impersonating ‘Cowboys’ and ‘Indians’? This serious yet humorous tale brings us a real-life story from one Slovak village. A group of adults took over the culture and lifestyle of Native Americans.
We’ve all heard of Native Americans. But did you know that we also have ‘Indian’ tribes in Europe? Even in Slovakia. The reasons for their escape to an alternative reality are revealed through the chief of the tribe – Miki. At first glance, he is an extravagant and free-spirited man with feathers on his head who says that he doesn’t want to be just another sheep, but an eagle. By exposing his various roles as a father, a worker or an ‘Indian’, Miki guides us towards understanding his actions and the motives of the tribe. Although he sometimes does things like “normopaths” do and the rest of the ordinary world living in capitalism, he exemplifies how inner freedom and a sense of happiness are just choices.
AWOHALI | 2021 | 30 min | Slovakia
|Lubomir Mikler, Marek Baksi, Norbert Egresi
FESTIVALS & AWARDS (SELECTION)
Boden International Film Festival, Sweden 2023 – Best Short Documentary | Kosice International Film Festival, Slovakia 2023 – Best Short Documentary | The Student World Impact Film Festival, USA 2023 – Honourable Mention | Etiuda&Anima International Film Festival, Poland 2022 – Special Award from Artistic Director Bogusław Zmudzinski “The Great Underestimated”, Student Jury Award
This film draws attention to a subculture of so-called European Native Americans or European Indians. Slovaks who took on the culture, lifestyle and even clothing of Native Americans from the 18th century. As a result, they are perceived by others as a curiosity. Initially, like many others, I too perceived them as an interesting phenomenon. However, after I had a chance to gain a real insight into my protagonists’ lives and became close with them, I realised that the European Indian re-enactment movement was their means of escape from their civil lives. I aim to reflect on this phenomenon and understand the reasons for their behaviour and the functioning of the community. What are the reasons for their escape to an alternative reality, the Indianness? Why do they need to be someone else?
Dominika Kováčová graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia with a documentary film Awohali (The Eagle), which premiered at the 29th International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima, where it received the Special Award from Artistic Director and The Student Jury Award. During her internship at Filmes do Gajo production in Lisbon, Portugal, she worked on an experimental film Circus Movements directed by Mário Gajo and Lukas Berger, which has shifted her perception of cinematic language towards a more conceptual narration. As a result, she applied for a master’s degree at The Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon, where she specialises in moving images. During her studies, she made an experimental film AND WHAT NOW? which premiered at the FEST – New Directors Film Festival 2023.