August 18, 2022 at 4:01 p.m me Paid content
From his film Welcome to home, brother! the offended mayor of the village has already left.
Director PETER SERGE BUTKO experienced several inexplicable events. One of them was a meeting with the director of the theater in Báčský Petrovec, who did not want to let him rest and pursued him with the demand that he come there to rehearse the performance.
“I gave myself not to fulfill the conditions to get rid of him, and he fulfilled them for me,” says Butko. It was impossible to back out, he had to pack his bags.
However, when he comes to the Serbian Slovaks, an unexpected physical world, where even the laws do not have quite the reach and decency looks different there. That place, he even identified with Slovakia, which the ogre hated before.
With Petra Polnišová in the role of actress and producer, he finally filmed the comedy Welcome home, brother! about Slovaks who want to become famous all over the world.
Do you ever feel like a minority?
Just because of my sexual orientation. I’m gay and growing up during communism, I didn’t even have anyone to talk to about it. I have always lived on the fringes of society. I learned to read even before I started going to school, I lived among books, with poetry, music, in an inner world.
And what was the experience like?
Solitude did not bother me. The older I got, the more I realized that I like solitude the most, that I enjoy solitude the most. I’ve been traveling the world for thirty years – and even then I prefer to be alone. This is true despite the fact that I am a very social person.
You were also a minority in the Czech Republic, where you went to study at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. It was just before the partition of Czechoslovakia, how did you feel there?
Better than in Slovakia, because that’s when I started to hate Slovakia. In Slovakia, Mečiar ruled, culture was taken care of by state intendants who are subject to political pressure. Therefore, part of the Slovak elite began to move to Prague, for example Ľubomír Feldek. That’s when I said to myself: I’m Czech, I can get away with Slovakia like this. And I used the opportunity to have dual citizenship.
Paradoxically, only when I came to Báčské Petrovec did I again feel that I was Slovak and identified with Slovaks. I was impressed by the environment, the relationships people had with each other, their openness and especially their politeness.
The kind of politeness you don’t encounter in Slovakia?
That’s such a philosophical question, I can’t name it exactly. When I met their politeness for the first time, it shocked me.
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