Lucia Kašová is 35 years old and she is one of the young generation of Slovak film-makers. Her name resounded in Slovakia last year, after she made a documentary about former PM Robert Fico for public-service television. After she spent seven years travelling the world she realised she needed to share her experience. So she returned to Slovakia to learn how to make documentaries.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): You are currently shooting a new film, The Sailor. You said that the topic of pirates persuaded you to start making films. Could you explain?
Lucia Kašová (LK): About ten years ago I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. When I arrived in the Caribbean, I met a group of sea gypsies. I liked the community of people, each of them having their small broken ship. They lived on the sea, burnt their passports and flags of home ports. I really liked their values, totally different from what our society promotes.
I found it interesting that people do not know about them so I wanted to make a film about these people. Then I realised I didn’t know how to make films and will not be able to do so until I study it. So I started studying at film school and the film that I planned as a portrait of the community ended up as a portrait of one person, Paul Johnson, who lived all of his life on the sea. Now he is 80 and he has never lived on land. It is a personal statement of a person who is about to die and for whom the biggest value in his life was freedom.
It is also a reflection that today people focus on various forms of being and travelling and whether a life like this is worth it.
TSS: What did you learn? Is it worth it?
LK: It cannot be said definitely, there is always a grey zone. We have also been filming a project in Afghanistan about women, musicians, who live in total oppression. I found these girls we spent time with so free that I thought about the opposite – oppression creates free souls and when a person lives in absolute freedom, he or she creates shackles in his/her own head.
TSS: In Slovakia, you became well-known thanks to your documentary about former PM Robert Fico. Lately, quite a few films have been released about politicians or politics. How do you perceive it, is it a way to go for Slovak cinema?
LK: I think that the documentarists have idled enough when it comes to the reflection of social events and political culture in Slovakia. They cared more about the art or social problems in Slovakia. The only person who dedicates her time to political documentaries is Zuzka Piussi.