Thriller resembling Slovakia's political reality breaks audience records

The Swine movie's characters include mobster, party chairman, and minister.

Jozef Vajda in film Sviňa plays mafioso.Jozef Vajda in film Sviňa plays mafioso.(Source: Łukasz Wojciechowski)

Slovak politicians have a weakness. They search for sex with underage girls. This turns out to be a problem when they fail to pay attention when someone is filming them. Representatives of the Catholic church are vulnerable in the same way. They all are blackmailed by the same mafioso.

This is not a description of Slovak reality, but an outline of the story of the Sviňa (Swine) political thriller premiered on February 6.

Related story:Čengel Solčanská: Slovakia doesn't have the courage to make a film about the Slovak president-Nazi collaborator Read more 

Mariana Čengel Solčanská and Rudolf Biermann made the movie based on the eponymous book by journalist Arpád Soltész, who said he had not mentioned the word "swine" in it on purpose.

Everyone can thus find their own swine in it.

The choice is among politicians, ministers, mafia men and managers of a rehabilitation facility for youth that pretends to be saving young people from broken homes.

Slovaks do not see themselves at the edge of society

Three weeks before parliamentary elections, there is an extraordinary interest in such a film in Slovakia. No Slovak film has recorded such high attendance in its opening week like Sviňa.

98,056 people saw it in the first four days in cinemas. Distribution company CinemArt said that, including the preview, 103,660 spectators bought a ticket to Sviňa.

In 2017, more than a million and quarter spectators came to see Slovak films.

Among those were Únos (director Mariana Čengel Solčanská), Všetko alebo Nič (Marta Ferencová) and Čiara (Peter Bebjak), while the best opening weekend was that of the comedy Cuky Luky, seen by 53,000.

To compare, ten years earlier in 2007, all Slovak films were seen by 13,268 spectators. Since then, Slovak cinema has embarked on the way of social dramas.

Those were not attended as much also because they tell stories of people on the edge of the society and people do not go to cinemas to see them very much.

Sviňa is an example that people want to see topics that affect most, and current politics is one of them.

Even worse than we think

The filmmakers said that any similarity to real persons is coincidental. But they are clearly inspired by real events and the models of their characters are real people. In combination with fiction, there is a disputable story suggestively saying that the Slovak political reality is way worse than we think.


Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Second "secret poll" confirms observers' expectations

Slovakia's voters defied the ban on polls through a crowdfunding campaign.

The Slovak parliament approved the law on a 50-day moratorium on pre-election polls on November 26, 2019

Slovak far right courts youth vote in pivotal ballot

As Slovakia prepares to vote on Saturday, thousands of young voters are expected to opt for a far-right party that many would call neo-Nazi. What gives?

Extremism is a growing problem.

Parliament approves 13th pensions just days before the elections

The parliament failed to adopt two more proposals on February 26. The special session is over.

An extraordinary session is held on February 25, 2020.

Ethnic Hungarians should not be divided into good and bad

The identity of Slovakia's Hungarians cannot be based on how they feel about Orbán.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán (centre) and his Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini (centre-left) during their visit at the transit zone for migrants in Röszke on the Hungarian-Serbian border.