Berlin filmfest offers dark vision of E European ‘drift’ |

Berlin filmfest offers dark vision of E European ‘drift’

    22 February, 2018 12:00 AM printer

This week’s Berlin film festival is turning a wary eye eastward with a series of new movies spotlighting the rise of violent extremism and anti-migrant sentiment in the ex-communist bloc.

The filmmakers show a region at a crossroads, divided between old loyalties to authoritarian Russia and forces trying to avert a drift away from the European Union and the West.

“They’re isolated, don’t want to share anything with other countries, they reject liberal values—this is the vision which is gaining strength in former communist countries,” said Czech director Jan Gebert, who presented “When the War Comes”, a chilling documentary about a Slovak paramilitary group.

For three years, from 2015 to 2018, the 37-year-old filmed the rise of “Slovak Recruits” (Slovenski Branci), one of the country’s leading far-right organisations.