Vierka, Or the Mystery of Family B’s Disappearance
Czech Repu blic - 2005 - 76’
This documentary started out as a portrait of a young talented Roma singer but turned into a drama about two different views of “the truth”. Coincidence is instrumental at the beginning of the film and the end is shrouded in mystery. Initially, the story describes the encounter between singer Ida Kelarová and a young Roma girl named Vierka Berkyová from Lucenec, Slovakia whose musical talent astonishes everyone who hears her sing. It focuses on her talent and spontaneity, but also deals with the notion of helping those around us. It presents a new step forward in the life of the Berky family, and investigates the idea of mutual coexistence as it explores the desire to create an idyll in which the two families share a home. One day the Berkys suddenly leave Kelarová’s home, mysteriously disappearing without a trace. For director and cameraman Miroslav Janek, the documentary thus transformed into a drama pitting against each other two versions of the truth - each one keenly and passionately experienced. It becomes the means of uncovering the hidden, in part unacknowledged, forces that determine one’s ideas about the meaning of life and its fulfillment. The viewer never actually finds out the real reasons for this dramatic turn of events and must be satisfied to merely approach the truth of the mystery.
Director & Original idea:
Janek Míra was born 1954 in Nachod, Czech Republic, where he wrote, directed and produced nearly forty short films. He also worked as a film editor for the Czechoslovakian Television before immigrating to the United States in 1979. Settling down in Minneapolis, he began working as a freelance film editor and cameraman. In 1981 he began teaching filmmaking at Film in the Cities in St. Paul, MN. During his six years in Minneapolis he also produced and directed a number of independent films sponsored
primarily by local foundations. In 1986 he moved to New York City where he continued his freelance work until 1994.
The next two years he spent in Treviso, Italy, collaborating with American director Godfrey Reggio on developing a multimedia
project, Fabrica. Since 1993 he has shot and directed many documentaries for Czech Television. Currently he resides in Prague. Since 1998 he has been teaching at the documentary department of FAMU (Film Academy in Prague).
Producer: Richard Němec
Production Company: Verbascum
Director of Photography:Míra Janek
Editor: Tonička Janková