A STORY, WHICH IN ITS LYRICAL BEAUTY BEARS WITNESS TO DESTRUCTION
A story of a young woman, Juliši, who marries the son of the richest landowner in the village, but does not resist her father-in-law’s violent seduction and inadvertently finds herself in the middle of a rough love triangle. The ballad of Piargy is a symbol of modern Sodom and Gomorrah, a mirror of the distorted morals of the society. At the same time, it is a naturalistic metaphor for the subordinate position of women in the patriarchal society.
Although Juliša is a beautiful girl attracted by every man in the village, she suffers from not having a family and her older sister Magduša has a tarnished reputation. She has no idea what love is, but she secretly hopes that some man will marry her and save her. Juliša wants to be the mistress of her household, to have social status and wants nothing more but respect from people. When the opportunity arises for her to marry young Roháč, who is the son of the richest landowner, she feels that her dream has come true. In her naiveness, she has no idea who and why helped her to make it come true.
Julia’s older sister is a confident, pragmatic woman with no restraints. She is extremely sexually attractive to men and does not shy away from using it to her advantage. After the sisters lost both parents, she took on the role of surrogate mother. In the patriarchal society, Magduša behaves like a man, because she always had to make sure she and Juliša had what to eat and that the farm they inherited from their parents would not become dilapidated. Magduša will do everything and anything to ensure it, she has no moral scruples. She is even able to make business with her own sister, while she pretends that she does it for her own good.
A sturdy man, full of masculine power, which he doesn’t hesitate to use with every pretty girl on the farm. He is the richest landowner in the village, has the respect and esteem, that he enjoys thanks to his property and land. He has a good relationship with the local pastor, and therefore his word has weight, regardless of his actions. He suffers emotionally, that his wife gave him only one child and she can’t keep up with him sexually. Most of the time, he vents it on her when he drinks. At his son Martin he looks with disdain, considers him too meek and compliant and demonstrates it by humiliating him as much as his wife.
The only son of rich Ján Roháč and Mária Roháčová. He tries to prove to his father that he is as strong as him, but he has no preconditions for that – on the inside, he is a very sensitive, receptive and sad young man, trying to disguise it with cheerfulness and sovereignty he has learned from his rough and cruel father. If he found more strength in himself and took his own path, he could live his life as a happy man with a beautiful and obedient wife. His curse is that he can never step out of his father’s shadow, he will always obey him, just not to lose his favour, and ultimately it turns out to be fatal for him.
Ján Roháč’s wife, Martin’s mother. She suffers from remorse for not fulfilling the role of a mother and wife, which in her time was considered only her fault. She is a typical representative of abused women of her time. When a man beats her drunk, she humbly turns the other cheek. She is often sick, weak and unhealthy, but still hardworking and always willing to do everything in her power for her husband and son. She is a strong believer, a pious woman, and pays great attention to morality and to what people think of her family. She tends to turn her face away from the truth and modify the reality according to her needs and desires.
Julišina najlepšia kamarátka. Julišin život, jej slobodomyseľnosť a roztopašnosť ju fascinuje, ale aj pohoršuje, čo sa snaží nedávať najavo. Johanka je vychovaná veľmi konzervatívne a akákoľvek nespravodlivosť ju dokáže popudiť. Má o svete a ľuďoch trochu naivnú predstavu, život vníma veľmi emocionálne, preto je schopná uveriť jeho mytologickej interpretácii. V skrytu duše túži po mladom Roháčovi a verí, že by preňho mohla byť tou pravou, čo si myslí aj jeho matka. Keď si Martina vezme Juliša, závidí jej ho a vo svojej citlivej duši vníma, že niečo nie je v poriadku. Johanka je rozprávačkou nášho príbehu.
Ten years ago, we thought we could try to make a film that is not normally made in our country. And The ballad of Piargy was born – a metaphorical story about the dark power of decay and the unrewarding position of women in the society. The film takes place just before the outbreak of World War II, but its parables are so current, that it sends chills down the spine.
Besides us, on The ballad of Piargy cooperated 186 people, 19 production units, 5 co-producers, and 29 enthusiasts, who helped us free of charge, as well as a countless number of companies and organizations. Our film was made thanks to every single one of them.
The ballad of Piargy speaks of the patriarchal position of men, who use power and money to humiliate women. It was happening a hundred years ago and the “Me Too” movement is a proof that it is still happening even nowadays.
— The dark power of decay —