FAKIR / POKIAŁ JÁ ŽIJEM
Escaping his troubled past, Dalibor seeks refuge in a nomadic circus. Fascinated by the magic of circus artistry, he finds his own creative voice to help him overcome his pain and aspire to a better life.
The feature documentary Pokiaľ já žijem (eng. Fakir) is a psychological portrait of a young man from a dysfunctional family. Dalibor has survived a traumatic childhood that leaves him destined for a life of crime and poverty. The film depicts his struggle to break out from the vicious cycle of his upbringing and assimilate into society by becoming a fakir in the circus. We follow Dalibor in his journey to gain control of his life and help make his family whole again. The film focuses on overcoming life’s traumas, which bleed into personal relationships and disrupt inner integrity.
Learning how to perform.
Poverty, criminality, domestic abuse. 23 year old Romani, Dalibor, has survived a traumatic past that leaves him destined for a life of crime and poverty. The feature documentary Fakir / Pokial já žijem depicts his struggle to break out from the vicious cycle of his upbringing and assimilate into society. We follow Dalibor in his journey to gain control of his life and help make his family whole again.
At eighteen, Dalibor’s abusive father kicked him out of his house and he became homeless. When a wandering horror circus arrived in his hometown, Dalibor persistently begged for a job. After initial refusals, the circus director was persuaded by Dalibor‘s perseverance and hired him as a manual worker. He also gave Dalibor a place to live–getting him off the streets and giving him a chance no one else did.
Dalibor began learning how to spit fire and get shot from a stun gun. Impressed by his perseverance, the circus director promises Dalibor an opportunity to perform–if he continues to train hard. This opportunity would earn Daribor more money and a chance to provide financial support for his mother and younger brothers who now live in a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
But Dalibor’s dreams of a better life are cut short by his rocky past. Dalibor is sentenced for a petty theft when he was homeless. Despite that, his will is not diminished. While in jail, the vision of working and performing in the circus again is one of few things that keep him sane and determined to move forward.
Our project touches on several social topics through which we hope to introduce Dalibor as a relatable human being, a lost soul looking for redemption. But will he eventually find it?
DIRECTOR’S NOTERoman Ďuriš
We met Dalibor a year-and-a-half ago at the beginning of the pandemic, when we found a circus in the city. Performers and helpers were already packing up the tent, which surrounded the caravans. In the smallest one, which looked more like a buffet, came out a twenty-year-old boy in a worker‘s uniform. Big, calloused, and dirty hands, scars above the eye and on the scalp, a cigarette on cracked lips. The performers had contempt for his darker skin color–only the director gave him orders. He exuded absolute loneliness. What really impressed us about him was his behavior: a mixture of kindness and childish naivety–in contrast to his contrived toughness. He stood out from the other workers, with his sensitivity and strange liveliness. We knew his nature affected others as well, after all, that’s why in the end, they grew to like him at the circus.
The trauma affected not only his psyche but also his memory. He is unable to narrate his memories chronologically, as if his life did not pass in a linear way. I noticed the same memory problem with his mother and sister, so I decided to reflect on this specific feature by not telling the story in order. The past – which we will partly stage (Dalibor‘s younger brother, Jakub, is a perfect copy of a young Dalibor) and partly evoke with abstract shots that complement Dalibor‘s commentary – will intersect with the present and the viewer will better understand Dalibor‘s inner world, what he is struggling with and what for him is most important in life.
For me, this story is important because I think that there are many young people around the world with a similar fate who did not have a supportive family background and therefore a strong starting position in life. Dalibor is a positive example for us that one should not give up, a strong will and a good heart can help him change his fate and free himself.
I am afraid that my brothers will forget me and then I will lose my entire family.
Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland / 90 & 52 min. / 4K DCP, 25 fps, 16:9
director: Roman Ďuriš dop: Michaela Hošková music composer: Jan Balcar producer: Simona Bago Móciková co-producer CZ: Michal Sikora co-producer PL: Michal Ostakiewicz production manger: Jana Gerthoferová