About film

The Second World War still hides numerous stories, some of which will clearly remain a secret forever. One such mosaic of memories are the fates of the Roma partisans in the former Czechoslovakia. Film director Vera Lacková, who is also the great-grandchild of one of these forgotten fighters, learnt about her great-grandfather’s deeds when she was a small child and her grandmother would tell her fairy tales about his adventures. While uncovering her family’s history, Vera finds other Roma partisans. In addition to her great-grandfather Ján, the film tells the stories of three other people. Their dramatic stories are far from the sort one tells to small children. Imprisonment in concentration camps, the murder of family members, bloody battles during the liberation of Slovakia, partisan activity, cooperation with the American secret service, as well as what happened after the war – all this we follow through interviews with their descendants and those who remember, or with the help of documents from the archives. Vera moves from the archives to Slovak villages and mountains and to the Czech Republic, where some descendants live. Then she returns to the archives to confirm their testimony. During her search she comes up against deep-rooted prejudice, indifference and hatred towards the Roma community, both in the memories of those she interviews and during her search in the present.  The author’s motivation is to demolish the long-held stereotype of Roma as mere victims of Nazism. We are shown Roma whose deeds go beyond the history of a minority ethnic group and deservedly form part of European history.

LENGTH:     90 min

GENRE:        documentary film


Our team

Director: Vera Lacková

Vera Lacková is a Roma director and film producer. Born in Slovakia and based in Vienna, Austria, she is the founder of the Czech-Slovakian production company, Media Voice. Her background working with Roma people, sharing their stories and movements, enables her to bring a unique insider perspective on important and timely ethnic and political Roma themes for the community. A participant of the 2019 IDFA Academy, her film, How I Became a Partisan, was her feature length documentary debut and is about searching for the fate of forgotten Roma partisans. Her own search for and exposure of Romani partisans’ stories is primarily based on the life of her great-grandfather; Ján Lacko. The film premiered at goEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden in 2021, where she received the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity award. The project was developed at the Ex Oriente film workshop, pitched at the 2020 East Doc Platform, and is a part of the distribution program, East Silver Caravan, supported by Institute of Documentary Film.


Director of photography: Petr Racek

Czech DOP. His filmography includes feature-length documentaries – Wolves on the Boarders (dir. Martin Páv), Last generation (dir. Apolena Rychlikova), Vote for Kibera (dir. Martin Páv), Can do better (dir. Robin Kvapil, Radim Procházka) or short documentary Annexation of the West Bank for Voxpot company. 


Camera Assistant (1st AC) : Laco Korbel

Laco Korbel got his bachelor’s degree in Cinematography and film/sound at VŠMU and study program Audiovisual Communications on FMK UTB Zlín. Most often, he is involved in shooting of short documentaries, commercials and video clips. He worked as a TV Camera operator in Czech television and companies such as Eurosport, Reckord, OTSE Broadcasting, JamCopters, Samadhi production. He is also a co-founder and audiovisual supervisor at Media Voice production company.


Sound: Klára Jašková

She graduated at Tomas Bata University in Zlín in the field of Sound and Editing. She participates as a sound engineer in the production of documentary cycles and live broadcasts for RTVS and Czech Television. Since 2013, he has been involved in the production of series, films, animated projects and RTVS programs in Slovakia. He collaborates with advertising agencies to produce promotional films and in his free time she is engaged in recording 5.1. sound atmospheres.


Script editor: Jan Gogola

Jan Gogola is a director, dramaturg and publicist; he collaborates with Institute of Documentary Film at Prague and teaches on FAMU. He was a dramaturg in Czech television, head of programme Czech television Brno and teacher at JAMU. He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of Charles University and the Department of Documentary Film at FAMU. As a director and dramaturg, he was awarded by hundreds of domestic and foreign prizes. His filmography includes: Nonstop, Panenka proti zbytku světa, Kateřina Šedá: Jak se dělá mýtus, František svého druhu, Exkurze aneb Historie současnosti, international project Across the Border: České Velenice evropské či Breathless: Mám ráda nudný život. As a dramaturg he cooperated with E. Hníkova, V. Chytilová, P. Kerekes, R. Kirchhoff, V. Klusák, P. Koutecký, J. Krejčík, T. Nvotová, A. Olhou, F. Remunda, R. Sedláček, M. Škop, H. Třeštíková.


Producer: Jan Bodnár

Jan Bodnár obtained his bachelor degree in film studies at Masaryk University in Brno. He worked as a production assistant in Czech television, Nova Tv or on a feature films(Já, Olga Hepnarová). As an external PR manager hecooperated with the independent production company GNOMON film mainly on the Acceptproject. He works at the program department of the Mezipatra International Queer FilmFestival and in the past he cooperated with festivals Ghettofest, Cinema Mundi or OneWorld. Currently he works as a production manager in Media Voice (How I Became a Partisan) and GNOMON Production companies.


Film Editor: Hana Dvořáčková

Hana Dvořáčková studied editing at Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín and at FAMU in Prague. She took part in international workshops such as European Editing Masterclass, Documentary Film Workshop in Leipzig or Documentary Film Workshop in Banská Bystrica.She is the editor of documentaries (Milda and Kalado – IFDF Jihlava 2017), TV series and commercials.



Music composer: Jan Šikl ml.

Jan Šikl devotes himself to music on several levels. As a drummer in the Zabelov Group and Korjen projects, as a composer of classical music (repeated collaboration with the Berg Orchestra), composer of film and video production and, above all, stage music. In addition to drama, it has recently been associated mainly with dance theater (Laterna Magika, 420 People, Spitfire Company). In his free time he unsystematically devotes himself to the intuitive search for the meaning of life…

PRODUCER SK – Media Voice
(Vera Lacková, Jan Bodnár)

Media Voice’s production stands against stereotypical perception of Romanis and discrimination of minorities. We bring forward topics not being featured in media, documentary films or promotional videos. Its founder Vera Lacková believes, that films are able to unite people and foster tolerance. „Media frequently depict Roma world from a rather one-sided perspective. That is why I want to make films about the Roma world, to
perceive it also from the positive side.

Vera Lacková’s first documentary was called Because there is a hope, and she made it under the supervision of American filmmakers. „It was a big inspiration for me. During the filming I decided I want to make films about Roma people.“
Documentary film How I became a partisan, with a subtitle Cinematic resistance against oblivion is her documentary feature debut.

Media voice is a young, yet growing production company. Its videos contain a specific signature and through its work the company tries to prove, that cooperation between different nationalities can be beneficial.


COPRODUCER CZ – Film a Sociologie
(Jarmila Poláková)

The Czech production company Film&Sociologie has been active for 27 years. Film & Sociologie is the producer of the films Olga (DOK Leipzig – Dok International Programme) and Citizen Havel, both awarded Czech Lion for the best Czech documentary films of 2014 and 2008. Citizen Havel was for example shown at the Berlinale Film Festival 2008 and at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Nomination: PRIX ARTE – European Film Academy Documentary 2008 and LUX‘08 Cinema Prize of the European Parliament.

The main upcoming projects of this production company are Velvet Divorce, portraying the twenty years following the division of former Czechoslovakia into two states. After six years the company in 2018 finished shooting the film Passenger about four young men separated from their families by force at a very tender age and growing up in institutionalized care.







Development of this film was financially supported
by Slovak Audiovisual Fund.

Realised with the financial support of Minority Culture Fund.






The film was developed at Ex Oriente Film workshop,
organized by Institute of Documentary Film.




Slovak republic

Czech republic



Vera Lacková



PR, media relations:
Tereza Plavecká
+420 777105961


Jan Bodnár
+ 420 774 986 820