In the mid 80s the clergy in the CSSR is divided into the regime-critical “catacomb church”, which maintains contact with the Vatican and Western media, and the “ecclesiastical hierarchy” which cooperates with those in power. Young seminarians Michal and Juraj have to decide whether to remain faithful to their vocation and idealism or to bow to pressure from the secret police. Ostrochovský has created a frosty film noir in which the forces of history and the servants of two powers and two belief systems collide. Shot in overwhelming black-and-white he artfully contrasts the pallor of marble, plaster and faces with the darkness of the night and the black cassocks. (Berlinale)

Director's Biography
Born in 1972 in Žilina, then ČSSR, now Slovakia, Ivan Ostrochovský studied documentary directing and worked as a director and producer in Bratislava. His first feature-length documentary, VELVET TERRORISTS, premiered at the 2013 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. His debut fiction feature film, KOZA, screened at the Berlinale in 2015 and was selected as Slovakia’s 2016 Oscar entry.
Director's Filmography (Selection)
Služobníci (Servants, 2020) - Koza (2015) - Zamatoví teroristi (Velvet Terrorists, 2013, doc) - Ilja (2010, doc short)
Eröffnungsfilme | Opening Films · Crossing Europe VOD · Tribute 2021
Ivan Ostrochovský
Slovakia / Romania / Czech Republic / Ireland 2020
black and white
80 minutes
OV with English subtitles
Screenplay Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Marek Leščák, Ivan Ostrochovský
Cinematography Juraj Chlpík
Editing Jan Daňhel, Martin Malo, Maroš Šlapeta
Sound/Sounddesign Tobiáš Potočný
Music Miroslav Tóth, Cristian Lolea
With Samuel Skyva, Samuel Polakovič, Vlad Ivanov, Vladimír Strnisko, Milan Mikulčík, Tomáš Turek
Producer(s) Ivan Ostrochovský, Albert Malinovský, Katarína Tomková
Punkchart films, Point Film, Radio and Television of Slovakia, Negativ, Film and Music Entertainment, Libra Film Productions, Hai Hui Entertainment, sentimentalfilm
World Sales
Loco Films
Austrian Premiere
World Premiere
Berlinale 2020

Crossing Europe VOD-Premiere
06.06. - 06.07.2021, online
More details on the VOD program HERE
(only available for streaming in Austria)
Content notes