When the War Comes

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When the War Comes (Až Přijde Válka)

Directed by Jan Gebert

  • Czech Republic, Croatia 2018; 78 min
  • Original version: Slovak
  • Genre: Documentary


Peter Švrček is a well-dressed, self-confident young man who believes that what his generation lacks is leadership. That’s why he organises very special weekend activities in the Slovakian forests. With a few like-minded people, he has created the Slovenskí Branci, the ‘Slovak Recruits’, which offer young locals paramilitary training and a hierarchical group structure. In order not to be declared a prohibited organisation, the group decided to forgo an official founding event. Švrček is the born leader, a man who always manages to remain calm and polite and, as slippery as an eel, knows how to wriggle himself out of tricky situations. But his friends are fully aware that, when it comes to liberalism and Slovakia’s current state authorities, he has nothing but a weary smile. Director Jan Gebert follows both the ambitious Švrček and a young recruit named Adam, who climbs the ranks of Slovenskí Branci during the filming. Shot at close quarters, this documentary captures both the protagonists’ unremarkable everyday lives and private moments as well as the ambitions of the founder of this deeply anti-European paramilitary force.


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