Archive of films When the War Comes / Až přijde válka

Czech Republic / Croatia
2018, 76 min

Section: Czech Films 2017–2018
Year: 2018

“We’ll become legends of our time,” states one of the members of the Slovak Recruits paramilitary group, which puts young people through inhumane drills and aims to “defend and preserve the nation”. Jan Gebert’s documentary, screened at the Berlinale, observes a youngster with authoritarian inclinations, part of a growing nationalism in unexpected age groups.


“I guess I’m dominant. I like giving orders,” says student Petr at his graduation exam, giving a timid smile as he compares himself to a literary character. The reality is nevertheless somewhat different. Teenager Petr heads the Slovak Recruits paramilitary group, which endeavours to “defend and preserve the nation”. He trains other young men out in the forest but, in Jan Gebert’s documentary, this “playing at soldiers” is chilling and more reminiscent of a humiliating drill. Petr’s ambitions, however, go beyond disciplining his contemporaries. The desire of irate young men to take things firmly into their own hands helps to illustrate a social atmosphere in which success comes to leaders who inveigh against artificially created enemies – under the pretext of protecting traditional values. The film was screened in the Panorama section at this year’s Berlinale.

Jan Škoda

About the director

Jan Gebert (b. 1981, Prague). Filmography: Stone Games (2012, medium-length doc.), Auction (2013, short doc.), When the War Comes (2018, doc.)


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HBO Europe
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Czech Republic
Tel: +420 261 094 444
Fax: +420 261 094 455
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Czech Films 2017–2018
Director: Jan Gebert
Screenplay: Jan Gebert
Dir. of Photography: Lukáš Milota
Music: Johny Poupě
Editor: Jana Vlčková
Producer: Radovan Síbrt
Production: PINK
Coproduction: HBO Europe, Hulahop
Sales: CAT&Docs
Contact: HBO Europe


Radovan Síbrt

Film Director, Producer

Alžběta Karásková


Karel Poupě


Petra Dobešová

Production Manager

Jan Gebert

Film Director

Lukáš Milota

Director of Photography

Jana Vlčková

Film Editor


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