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Investigation into the fate of Slovak Cinematography, which has for years, even decades lived in the shadow of its more glorious past.

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Siphoned of the film studios, which took place after 1989 and the haphazard privatization have left an indelible mark on it. The story of its decline is a story of the lack of will on the part of the state to support film-making. The process of society’s transformation and the dire consequences it spelled for Koliba have divided the film-makers into two hostile camps and led to the practical cessation of the national cinematography. It is hard to believe that this issue was thus far not addressed in a serious manner by film-makers. Perhaps it was this gradual, even imperceptible decline of Koliba film studios, which were imperceptible by the general public. The film aims to provide a holistic view of the past and present manipulations and scandals which are responsible for the present state of Slovak film-making. Today, Koliba – once the genius loci of many acclaimed film projects is being used by a commercial television to shoot a reality show.
The protagonists of the film are persons who are well known from the media and include legendary directors, producers, and entrepreneurs -many of them, with questionable past and a varying degree of complicity in the decline of the Slovak cinematography. Thus, Koliba is more than just a film studio past its heyday. It is a metaphor capturing the society’s turbulent transformation. The author has put together a collage of discussions, situations and archival films which are central to the theme of the film to tell the untold story.


Zuzana Piussi attempts to answer the question of what happened to Koliba as a symbol of national cinematography, about its purpose, or whether it is a loss at all. The film is prepared by atelier.doc, in cooperation with The Slovak Film Institute and is 52 minutes in length.
The approach to the project is reminiscent of the style used in the film of Almodovarov’s Kika, marked by a degree of naiveté, being quite random in relying on many different leads, without pre-conceived conclusions. It is an attempt to tell the absurd story of a society which almost seems to be sold on the idea that it can do away with cinematography altogether.