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How I Became A Partisan

Cinematic resistance against oblivion. A must-see documentary about the Sinti and Roma victims of the Holocaust in WWII Slovakia. Documenting her own family history and the heroic and dramatic life of her great grandfather, the Roma director Vera Lackova sheds light onto an aspect of the Slovak history during the Nazis which is rarely discussed: the Roma resistance. 



In 1944, Slovak partisans rise up against their Nazi occupiers and the collaborationist Slovak government. Among their ranks: the Roma partisan Jan Lacko. While he is out fighting, Lacko’s family is taken to a forest and murdered. After the violence subsides, Lacko finds their partially charred remains at the site.

75 years later, Vera Lackova sets off to trace her great grandfather’s past, on what is also a quest to find other Roma partisans – who often go unmentioned – in the scope of memorial celebrations. But during her search, she comes up against deeply rooted prejudice, indifference and hatred towards the Roma community. Her motivation is to demolish the long-held stereotype of Roma as mere victims of Nazism. She shows on screen stories of Roma people whose deeds go beyond the history of a minority ethnic group and deservedly form part of European history.


Country: Slovakia, Czech Republic
Year: 2021
Length: 89 min
Director: Vera Lackova
Editing: Hana Dvorackova
Cinematography: Petr Racek, Laco Korbel
Screenplay: Vera Lackova
Music: Jan Sikl
Production: Jan Bodnar, Vera Lackova – Media Voice; Film & Sociology