66 Seasons

66 sezón

66 sezón

Photography: Martin Kollár
Editing: Marek Šulík
Sound: Jaro Hajda, Peter Gajdoš
Music: Marek Piacek
Producer, Co-producer: Peter Kerekes (Peter Kerekes s.r.o.)
Color: Colour and B&W

A document about a swimming pool in the city of Košice, the place where, according to the filmmakers' slogan, 'history used to go to bathe'. Through stories that took place by the pool between 1936 and 2003, the film captures the 66 years of the popular spot as well as the same years in the history of Central and Eastern Europe.

The mosaic of the individual stories reconstructs the history: people's lives are not shown on the background of depersonalized history; people's lives make the history. Half-naked men and women saw the bombing of Košice in 1941; some swimmers did not return from the front, the builder of the pool died in a concentration camp. The film is dedicated to the memory of the director's grandfather. The director's father as well as the director himself are in the film.

With the swimming pool in the background and through three generations of the director's family, the film is a personal documentary that becomes a testimony. It is not attractive only for the people of Košice and their history. The premises of the swimming pool become a model evoking social history as well as collective dreams. Pavel Branko, a film critic, points out that the swimming pool is also a place of desire, a kind of substitute for something else. It is not a coincidence, he says, that the film opens with a shot of models of ship floating on the pool in a simulation of sea.

The oscillation between the real and the model, which is a parallel of the distance between the sea and its model, is a recurring motive in the film. On the foundations of an indifferent memory (collective-personal, told-dreamt), Kerekes' main theme is built: time and memory. The film travels through historic events, testimonies alternate with archive footage, and the director himself enters into memories. Human memory, however, is confronted with the means of film in the film, with the oscillation between the authentic footage and memories. But perhaps it is only a reconstruction, which simulates the historic value of the presented material.

According to the director, the film was made as a realization of a memory: I created a game, and I invited people to take part in it and they were authentic. At the same time, they followed the rules of the game that I made and required.

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2003
Sections: Between the Seas
Awards: Best Central and East European Documentary Film
Exhibition format: 35 mm


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