After the World War II, the Krnáè family moved from Central Slovakia to Sub-Carpathian Ukraine. After a rather controversial accession of this region to the Soviet Union, they fell in a trap with no way out. In line with Khrushchev´s decree, they were forced to settle down in Balgarka, a village in Kazakhstan steppe, where they spent over forty years. After the split of the USSR, they decided to move back to Europe. Sisters Tanya and Anna, Anna’s husband Dimitrij and their children, set out for their journey to Slovakia, a country they knew only from their parents´ stories.

In autumn 2000, Dimitrij Kiossyia’s family leaves their house in Kazakhstan steppe and heads for the country of their predecessors, Slovakia. After their arrival to the Slovak capital, they try to find jobs and accommodation, yet they are not very successful. They travel the country from the east to the west, and see only neglected villages, closed factories and high unemployment. For a short while, it feels as if they were not in Europe.
After a long quest, they settle down in a small village in countryside. Parents start working in a local farm and children go to school. However, this new beginning brings more disappointment than joy. Family’s firm bounds are broken. Especially older family members feel uprooted and keep thinking of their lives back in Kazakhstan. And then one day, Dimitrij, the head of the family, decides to go back home…





“When I asked about Slovakia, people used to say it was nice and clean there, all people wearing white, no drunks, no flies even! And so I thought, well, it would be nice to live there. But when I arrived, I saw there were flies here, and everybody was drunk.“

“I’ve been working in the farm for three years already, yet they didn’t give me overalls. What Europe is this...?“

“I work my head off, morning to evening, no Slovak slaves like me, and still they do not appreciate me. If it goes like this, I return to Kazakhstan.“

“If I leave my family and return home, I will hang myself from shame.“

“What is my impression of Slovaks? Bunch of liars, they are.
They deceive like hell.“

“Bureaucrats back at home asked me why I made so many children if I wasn’t able to feed them. Well, I made them in the Union, when I had my job on the truck and we had everything...“

“I would like to have a nice house and a car to live like a decent man.“

“Screw Europe, screw computers!“

“God helps you here, and slows you down there, you got it?“




“My wife’s last wish was we all returned to Slovakia.“

“I am glad my grandchildren are good students, better than those who were born here. We came here for their sake. We made all this for them.“




“I miss my mum, she wished to come back here.“

“I do not think of Kazakhstan, Dimitrij does. All the time.“

“Dimitrij spent his life on the road. He drove a truck. It was his life. Now he changed truck for tractor. And he drives round and round in the farm like an animal in cage.“




“I wanted to buy a hunting gun, but when we came into this Europe, I rather bought a washing machine. Automatic.“

“A man who has never been in any foreign state would never understand how it feels.“

“We work for Gypsies.“

„Those problems prevent you from enjoying Slovakia’s beauties.“