African Roots – Czech Dance
Africké kořeny – české tančení, Czech Republic, 2009, 57 min, Digi Beta, Portrait
Young Czech dancer and choreographer Jiří Bartovanec, a soloist in the renowned Berlin company Sasha Waltz and Guests, searches for his African roots which he discovered only when he was 25 years old. Joining the filmmakers, Bartovanec sets out on an arduous journey to find his ancestors, disentangling the story of his great-grandparents who were in part from a Šumava village and in part from the African state of Togo, brought to Germany at the end of the 19th century. A hard-to-believe story of an African-German circus performer and a Czech musician who, despite the race laws during WWII, started a family and had to hide throughout the war. After the war, the mixed marriage had to face further problems and twists that eventually led to its end. The documentary follows Bartovanec at rehearsals of his new choreography that blends influences from Africa, Europe, Czech music, traditional and contemporary dance as well as circus culture.
Director of photography:
Czech, English, Polish
140 70 Prague 4, Czech Republic