Because There is Hope: A Roma Documentary Screening in Prague

We would like to cordially invite you to the premiere of a new Czech documentary film entitled Because There is Hope, which is part of our project “Europe: A Homeland for the Roma.”

Monday, 12 May 2014 at 17:30
The French Institute, Cinema 35, Štěpánská 35, Praha 1

The film tells the story of a Roma activist, Jožka Miker, who decided to lead a group of Roma teenagers who, through rap and hip-hop, strive for equal status of the Roma and social acceptance. Miker leads the boys to focus on Roma history and culture, and on a broader discussion of the current issues Roma face in the Czech Republic.

In recent years, the city of Krupka has been the scene of several neo-Nazi demonstrations and violent incidents, and one such gathering even led to the murder of a young Roma person in nearby Teplice. Miker encourages the boys to determine and strive for their life goals and to stay away from drugs and violence. By starting to rap about neo-Nazism, poverty, drugs and life in hostels, the boys have become young activists. They believe their music has the power to unite Roma people. 

The film was created and produced by František Bikár, Martin Grinvalský, Adele Zicháčková, Viera Lacková, Jarmila Balážová and trainee Emmie Bultemeierová. The team was led by filmmakers Josh Meltzner (Western Kentucky University, USA) and Rich Beckman (University of Miami, USA). 

Our thanks to Miroslav Broz and civic associations Konexe who kindly helped us during the filming.

Watch the trailer: http://www.romahomeland.org/

The film was produced as part of Europe: A Homeland for the Roma, a project implemented by TransitionsRomea, and five other partners in Central and Eastern Europe and the United States. It is a chapter of the feature-length documentary Our Dream, which also features four other stories focused on problems that the Roma communities in Europe face. All five chapters were filmed by creative teams of Roma and non-Roma journalists in cooperation with senior producers from the United States.

In addition to the Czech film, we will show two other chapters, from Slovakia (Home is Home) and Romania (The Story of Two Villages).  

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, including journalist and cameraman František Bikár and the film’s executive producer, Rich Beckman as well as the film’s central character, Jožka Miker. The discussion will be moderated by Pavlína Kvapilová, a former head of new media at the Czech Television (CTV) and Brussels correspondent for the Czech Radio. The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

Please, confirm your attendance by email at by midday on Monday, 12 May.

The project is co-funded by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme, with further support from the ERSTE Foundation and the Open Society Foundations Program on Independent Journalism.