There’s no need to dwell on introducing Miro Remo. He’s the off spring of a country family full of amateur fi lmmakers who passed the trade on to him. He currently is both student and teacher at the same fi lm institute (VŠMU), and has already earned considerable success, the most prominent being Arsy-Versy with its countless prizes from countless festivals. For the last three years however he has been working on a “prison” project. Comeback follows the lives of three people – two (male) multiple off enders to be released after serving long sentences, and one (female) journalist, monitoring their rehabilitation process. Our young director tells us about the pitfalls and surprises of shooting inside prison walls.

K: You have many successful projects. How did you come up with this theme?

MR: Pure curiosity. In my secondary school years I commuted from Ladce to Trenčín, with a jail in-between. The sense of a place I had never been to stayed with me.

K: Much like your last project, this is also a portrait documentary.

MR: By now I can’t imagine doing any genre other than portrait. The compendium of these produces a new entity. It’s the micro-design of the individual characters you interconnect. I always try to show everything through the human self.

K: Arsy-Versy has infl uenced reality itself. Its protagonist just had the fi rst show of his photographs. Are Comeback’s ambitions likewise?

MR: This is something diffi cult to predict at all. With Arsy-Versy it was more or less an accident. I never thought Arsy would go global. I had rather thought that it would remain in the shadow of A Cold Joint29, which had far more to say. To me, Arsy-Versy was more like a light-hearted trip.

K: What do you think got people hooked?

MR: The overdose of candour, the way the protagonist relates to the world, and how he defi nes himself opposed to the commonly accepted way of life and to the present.

K: Do Arsy-Versy and Comeback have something in common?

MR: The common trait of Comeback and Arsy-Versy are people living off -roster, outside the common mechanics of our society. One may see it as extreme. Maybe this is what attracts me. I am fascinated by what’s weird. And by life’s extremes.

K: How do you compare shooting Comeback compared to your previous films?

MR: It was much more demanding. We ran three cameras, sometimes simultaneously. This requires a completely diff erent approach – to the set, the direction, the cinematography. But it suited us best: single-camera shooting is way too risky in that kind of environment. Our intention was to mime feature-style imagery.

K: Can you tell us anything about the convicts’ lives?

MR: Both are leaving the pen, but while one of them has a place to go back to, the other is totally defenceless, lost and forlorn. A matter of fact: a public-radio journalist follows their story. She really is on the story. And in a way, she’s jailed, too. So it’s three parallel lives watched over a period of two and a half years. The emotional peaks of the story appear condensed.

Kinečko has voiced the questions through Eva Križková, Adela Zvalová, Mária Ferenčuhová, Dominika Miklošíková and Lea Krišková. (trans. by DJ)

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