“Felvidek” is a multiethnic Slovak/Hungarian region in southern Slovakia. Far too often the region has been trapped in between the opposing interests of political elites; far too often its people have been tossed around by the twists of history. In the 1940s, many of them were forced to leave their homeland.
Felvidek: Caught in Between unravels the history which continues to be a soft spot for people whose fates were hit by the events after World War II. Some wounds are hard to heal, some questions remain unanswered but the future brings hope for reconciliation. When memories are not enough, the stories come to live through animation. The film combines oral history documentary, archive footage and animation. The narrative deals with a sensitive theme: the forced resettlement of ethnic Hungarians in postwar Czechoslovakia.
Vladislava, the author of the film, was born in Felvidek – a multiethnic, Slovak/Hungarian region which lies in the southernmost part of the Slovak Republic, and which, historically, has been inhabited by ethnic Hungarians. Far too often Felvidek has been trapped in between the opposing interests of politicians; far too often have its people been tossed around by the twists of history. Following the Second World War, thousands of them were forced to leave their homes and homeland during the Slovak/Hungarian resettlement campaign between 1946 and 1948.
Vladislava's great-grandmother arrived in Slovakia during the resettlement, and all her life, she missed her hometown, Komlos. Her last wish was to have a handful of earth from Komlos scattered over her grave. Vladislava, eager to learn more about her own roots, decided to unravel the history which, to these days, continues to be a soft spot and something of a taboo to those whose fates were irrevocably hit by the events after World War II. She studied contemporary documents, collected memorabilia and interviewed dozens of people who were forced to resettle after the war. Some wounds are hard to heal, and some questions remain unanswered. Yet the future brings hope for a new generation which doesn´t have to live with the burden of past wrongdoings.
And a handful of earth which Vladislava brings from Hungary to scatter on her great-grandmother's grave becomes a symbolic gesture of reconciliation.
More from diary for instance:
8th May 1945
President Edvard Benes was expected in the town, so bridge was closed. In the evening Russian soldiers that were living with us were drinking. We were worried of our women, but except small arguments nothing serious happened. nI the town the whole night was shooting in honor of the peace.
3rd July 1945
In the Hungarian colony was born a child. Tomorrow we are going to bring a present to Sandor’s child.
9th July 1945
Today it was eclipse of sun. We were looking it through a piece of broken smoked glass.
25th July 1945
This day we had a thirty anniversary of our wedding-day. We celebrated it with a can of meat and corn.
23rd December 1945
In the afternoon we decorated a Christmas tree in the canteen for the children. Each of 110 children received a half kilogram of sweets. In the evening we decorated a Christmas tree also for us with my Livia.
10th January 1946
Today it was our 250th day here. How long it will take?
1st December 1945
From this day Hungarians cannot walk in the street after 5 and those who are working have to be at home at 7.