Mgr. Jozef Banyák

* 1958  

  • "In that revolutionary atmosphere. By the way, it was the playwright, Boris Hochel, who called me at school and recommended me as an assistant. He told me, "Dodo, throw us out old people. We will not go alone. That's logical, but let's go. "All sorts of careerists and ambitious people came in. Then it changed quickly, and even now it's not stabilized. Unfortunately."

  • "By the way, my childhood was very affected by the fact that I had relatives in Austria. In the sixties, two or three cars came here regularly, almost every week. They went to the party. Omama always prepared a feast for them. They brought us southern fruits, chewing gum and chocolates. Gradually also clothes, which is very important for a young person. The Austrian television that I watched quite saturated the freedom. As if we could cut ourselves off at home. As a result, I was not bothered by Slovak television at all. To be honest, I watched Hungarian or Viennese television most of my childhood. "

  • "It was a thrill and it was a positive thrill for the kids. It is interesting that in the following days I met Russian soldiers right on the street in Biskupice. They went there to pump water into the tank. There was a street water valve on the street, and they probably had an agreement to take water from there. While they drank water, we ran there and talked to them. Such bigger and bolder guys carried fruit peaches for their cigarettes. They were nineteen - twenty year old boys. I don't know how many months they could have been there. But after a few months, Soviet troops gradually withdrew to the barracks. Just with that teacher Duchoň - a sadist who was in a good mood when he went to play spring hockey. He allowed us to listen to the legendary hockey championships in the classroom. Someone brought the radio. And when we won over the Russians, he brought twenty five popsicles, so we celebrated the victory like this. "

  • "Unfortunately, in the years that we are talking about, slovak film has almost disappeared. It wasn't even filmed there. You can find it there when you look at an encyclopedia. There you see that there are empty boxes. Those were the years when Koliba was privatized. So Mečiar's children actually stole it. Remarkably, these years have not been lost for me. Because at that time, foreign staff came here - Americans, the so-called Hollywood. At that time, I was filming with them as an assistant director. It was an excellent experience. Dragon Heart, Sludge Conqueror, Dragon Heart Two, Uprising. These were huge Hollywood projects, on which many slovak film craftsmen, learned a lot. In practice, some of those processes have changed radically and remain here. That's a paradox. "

  • "The lectures were very informal. However, there were four of us that year. Sometimes it connected with documentary filmmakers. There were acting exercises, they were interesting. The seminars connected with film screenings, were very interesting. Because this video library - an archive that was at school - contained many movies that were banned. They didn't even watch TV. It was enough for one of the creators to emigrate. Vojtěch Jasný - director or Nemec and even Forman was already emigrated at that time. I've seen a lot of rare movies out there that shaped that taste. "

  • Full recordings
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    Bratislava , 15.07.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 02:11:36
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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“After the Gentle revolution, slovak film almost disappeared.”

Witness - Jozef Banyák
Witness - Jozef Banyák
photo: During recording

Jozef Banyák was born in Bratislava. He grew up in Podunajské Biskupice, where there were inhabitants of german, hungarian and slovak nationality. He came from a wide-ranging roma family of blacksmiths. They confiscated his father’s blacksmith company, which employed ninety employees. During the socialist period, Jozef ministered in the church. The family from Vienna brought them scarce goods and influenced his worldview. He listened to austrian radio, and watched hungarian and austrian television. He graduated from high school on Tomašíkova street. He studied directing at the Academy of Performing Arts. He worked as an assistant director at Slovak television. In 1978, they wanted him to join the Communist Party, but he refused. Although he supported the VPN, he did not want the disintegration of the Czechoslovak republic. The slovak film almost disappeared during the period of governance of Mečiar, when they privatized Koliba. Jozef worked on Hollywood productions in Slovakia. He has never encountered discrimination openly. Later, he focused on the documentary and tried to break the stereotypical view on Roma. He has directed the youth magazine Zone D and since 2010 he has been directing the magazine about the film Kinorama at RTVS.