Kino Světozor

Berkat and Marsho - Happiness and Freedom


(Berkat a Maršo - štěstí a svoboda ) Director: David Čálek , ČR, 2007, Russian - Czech version / Czech subtitules, 70 min

The children's dance group Marsho came into being in the Sputnik refugee camp on the Chechen-Ingush border. Over 9,000 Chechen refugees have been living here for more than five years. Following the massacre of civilians in Chechnya, an organisation called Berkat was set up in the Czech Republic with the aim of helping victims, in particular women. In 2003 Berkat set up a tour by the Marsho dance group in the Czech Republic. The aim was both to allow the children to experience something other than the horrors of war, and to draw the attention of Czechs to the desperate situation in a country with a media blackout. In 2006 Berkat decided to invite the children again. In the meantime the Sputnik camp had been broken up and the children had been scattered around Chechnya. Many things had changed in their lives. They themselves had also changed and their reception in the Czech Republic was different too. They were no longer pitiful war children grateful for cuddly toys. Suddenly they had become demanding young people with an uncertain future seen by some as young terrorists.


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