When the war comes reveals not only the increasing threat we are facing from far-right groups, but also the vulnerability of our constitutional systems.
Director: Jan Gebert
Country: Czech Republic / Croatia 2018

The title of Jan Gebert’s documentary When the War Comes (Až přijde válka) might suggest a military conflict, but the film is instead a portrayal of the war of political ideas in the Western World. Against the political background of Brexit, Trump, Putin, Orbán and Duda, the Slovak far-right paramilitary organization Slovak Recruits (Slovenski Braci) comes off as a small player. Unfortunantely, it symbolizes a global trend instead. The nationalists are posing a severe challenge to the political powers and demonstrate that they need to be taken seriously, regardless of how absurd their ideas sound to many of us.

Tyranny and populism

The film is constructed around its main character Peter Švrček, a young nationalist, who obviously identifies himself with the influential leaders of the past. After receiving military training in Russia, he becomes the founder of an ambitious project called Slovak Recruits – an organization whose proclaimed goal is to protect the Slovak state in a case of war or other exterior threat. In a relatively short time, the paramilitary group manages to gain a visible position in . . .

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