“Merciful memory will let all the bad sink to the bottom and the good float up to the surface,” as Monika Kompaníková says in her novel She’s a Harbour (Piata loď). We can view contemporary Slovak cinema from a variety of different aspects but if we try to do so cognisant of the state it was in ten to fifteen years ago, then we cannot fail but to be optimistic. The film Little Harbour (Piata loď) based on the novel referred to above is another one of those films that bring us optimism. It is a new film by director Iveta Grófová who made her courageous and ripe début five years ago with Made in Ash (Až do mesta Aš). Her Little Harbour has just received its world première at the 67th Berlinale, being screened in the Generation Kplus section. And, in speaking about Little Harbour, we also have to mention A Prominent Patient (Masaryk, dir. Julius Ševčík) which also figures in the Berlinale, specifically in the Berlinale Special section. And thirdly, there is also Agnieszka Holland’s film Spoor (Pokot/Cez kosti mŕtvych) which is in the Festival’s main competition. These three films just confirm the positive changes in the state of Slovak cinema. And, in addition to the variability of contemporary domestic production, they also reflect the persisting co-production overlaps with the Czech Republic.

The separate studies devoted to Slovak feature, documentary and animated films of the previous year, the three published reviews and the article about premières prepared for 2017 testify to the likelihood of even more of this variability.

If memory works in the manner described in the opening quotation, it can be merciful. However, when speaking about Slovak cinema as a whole, it is better to revive the memory and to try to map out history in a more complex manner. That it can bring about interesting results is endorsed by the articles dedicated to the memory institution which also publishes Film.sk – the Slovak Film Institute.

Daniel Bernát ( Editor-in-Chief )