Under Underground

Under Underground

維拉.恰卡紐娃Viera ČÁKANYOVÁ
  • Czech Republic
B&W, Colour
  • DCP

Under Underground


The documentary explores the concept of 'underground' in former (Czecho-)Slovakia, examining its meaning and its link to civil defense structures under the city. A biology student now manages some of these sites. Testimonies from an architect, a filmmaker, and a singer further illuminate the multifaceted nature of the underground world.

'At the beginning, I had an idea to talk about people who were opposing the communist regime in my country, former Czechoslovakia, but they were not part of the official underground—dissident group. They lived in small towns, they weren't in the centre of the action, in Prague or Bratislava, they were somewhere in the regions and they had their own sometimes obscure ways of expressing their inner freedom. They didn't attract the attention of the establishment and therefore nobody knew about them. This seemed to me at the time a sympathetic form of resistance.

Also, I wondered what actually happened to all of the nuclear shelters after the end of the Cold War. Back in elementary school, we had to practise all sorts of ridiculous exercises with gas masks. I found people in Bratislava at the Ministry of the Interior who kept these shelters in standby mode, even if ordinary people already forgot about them. I connected those mysterious spaces with the narrative of undercover, invisible dissidents who could use them for self-expression.' - Viera ČÁKANYOVÁ

Festivals & Awards
2006 Ji.hlava IDFF
2007 IFF Etiuda & Anima
Director's Profile

Viera Čákanyová (b. 1980) studied scriptwriting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and documentary filmmaking at FAMU in Prague. Her feature debut FREM (2019) premiered at the Ji.hlava IDFF 2019 and the Berlinale 2020, and won Best Debut at the ELBE DOCK Festival. Her subsequent film White on White (2020) claimed top honors at the Ji.hlava IDFF in 2020, GreenDox Award at Dokufest in Kosovo, the Czech Competition at One World in Prague, and was selected for the main competitions at Sheffield DocFest and ZagrebDox.

2005 Elizexmachina
2005 00:00:00
2005 Talking heads
2006 Under Underground
2007 Piranha
2007 Worms
2009 100 Days
2009 Alda
2010 Olda
2011 Update
2014 Slovakia 2.0: Rupicapra
2014 Gottland: The Flying Horse
2019 FREM
2020 White on White
2023 Notes from Eremocene
Scriptwriter/Cinematographer/Editor/Sound|Viera ČÁKANYOVÁ
Producer|Jasmina SIJERČIĆ
Print Source
FAMU|Marek Koutesh|marek.koutesh@famu.cz


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