The Long Vacation
Damjan Kozole


Appearing in the film
Aleksandar Jovanović / Katarina Keček (Stojanović) / Nisveta Lovec and others

The story
Thirteen year-old Alex went on vacation to Serbia. For four years, he was unable to return home to the country where he was born. He stayed on “vacation” for twenty years.
Nisveta arrived from Bosnia thirty years ago. After the independence, she gave birth to a daughter who did not officially exist for the first two years of her life.
When she was a teenager, Katarina lost her parents, her flat, and her documents…
Three stories of young people who the state of Slovenia erased from all records in February 1992, just over half a year after it gained independence. They became the so-called “erased”. So did approximately 20.000 others.

The authors of the film invited all political key players to tell their views to the camera. Two of them accepted the challenge: the then Prime Minister and present Member of European Parliament, Lojze Peterle, who still questions the phrase 'erase from' and the then State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior Slavko Debelak, who claims that the erasure had been a lawful act until the Constitutional Court passed the decision and ruled it out. Igor Bavčar, the then Minister of Interior, refused to give a statement.

The film features also Dr. Metka Mencin Čeplak, Member of the National Assembly in the years 1990-1992, who filed an amendment to The Aliens Act in 1991 that could have prevented the erasure, if adopted. The first vote was a draw, in the second ballot; the amendment fell by a single vote.

The preparations for the project took producer Danijel Hočevar and director Damjan Kozole several years; they worked in collaboration with screenwriter Irena Pan, who had made a report on the same topic (the erased children) for POP TV show Preverjeno! (Checked Out!)

"In this film, I did not preoccupy with numbers, I was not interested in how many people had been erased or, who was responsible for that. I just wanted to show the fate of three young people, who had experienced the birth and development of this state first hand."
- Damjan Kozole, director

"An excellent documentary, spiced with clips of key milestones of Slovenian independence and personal testimonies, which should become a must-read for every citizen of the Republic of Slovenia."
Maja Megla, Delo

"A Long Vacation should be a must-see film for many audiences."
Uroš Smasek, Večer

"The director and his team are masters of their trade and the movie features three amazing stories told in a brilliant film language."
Agata Tomažič, Pogledi

"When you see the girl, you can feel the biblical pulse of this erasure."
Marcel Stefančič jr., Mladina

"Kozole's film does not aim at the cultural (or any other) fight, but only displays the stories of three individuals, whose lives turned upside down after the erasure from civil register."
Igor Harb, Vikend magazin

At the proclamation of independence in 1991, the Slovenian authorities called on citizens of former Yugoslav republics to renounce their citizenship and apply for Slovenian citizenship, giving them a 6 month deadline. All those who chose or failed to do so within the given deadline, were erased from civil register in February 1992 without any prior notice, regardless of the fact that they had lived in Slovenia for decades or were even born in Slovenia. Approximately 20,000 people were left without documents and without any legal status. In 1999, The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia established that the erasure was illegal, and ordered the Slovenian authorities to grant the erased citizens the right to permanent residence in Slovenia retroactively. In 2002, the Society of Erased Residents of Slovenia was founded. In 2003, the Constitutional Court again ruled out the erasure and certain erasure-related provisions, proclaiming them unlawful and imposing a six-month deadline on the authorities to align the legislation with the acquis and the constitution. In the months to follow, the Ministry of Interior issued approximately 4100 decisions to individuals, and then stopped issuing further decisions without any explanation or any legal grounds. Both, The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights expressed their concern for the erased citizens. In 2004, the electorate in a referendum on the so-called technicalities bill voted against the adoption of the Act which should regulate the rights of the erased by an overwhelming majority. (The counsel of the erased, Matevž Krivic described the referendum, as prepared by the then government, as misleading). Concerns about the issue, inter alia, were expressed also by the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe. In 2009, the Slovene Ministry of Interior, then led by Katarina Kresal, announced the first steps to redress the issue. On 24th July 2010 a new Act came into force, allowing re-establishment of the status of permanent residents for formerly erased citizens with retroactive effect. However, the amended legislation still contains serious obstacles and not all erased citizens can regain their status. Twenty years after the proclamation of independence, some 10,000 erased still have no proper legal status.

director's statement

"In this film I did not deal with how much has been erased. Not interested in numbers. Neither am not interested in who is really responsible for the deletion. I wanted to show the fate of three young people who were born and growing up that country feel on your skin. "
- Kozole, director


Irena Pan
director of photography
Rok Plešnar
music by
Aleksander Jovanović - Ingredient
Jaka Hemler


Film format 
Sony EX3 HD 
Video format 
Lenght 24fps 
Length 25fps 
Dolby Digital SR-D 5.1 / Stereo 2.0. 
aspect ratio 

produced by


Kersnikova 4, SI - 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Tel.: +386 1 439 7080
Fax: + 386 1 430 3530

co-produced by

RTV Slovenija

Kolodvorska 2-4
SI - 1000 Ljubljana
Slovenija / Slovenia

with the participation of

Viba film


Zavod za kulturmo produkcijo
Kersnikova 4
SI - 1000 Ljubljana

financed by

Slovenski filmski center

Miklošičeva 38
SI - 1000 Ljubljana
Slovenija / Slovenia

T: +386 (0)1 23 43 200
F: +386 (0)1 23 43 219

distributed by


Kersnikova 4, SI - 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Tel.: +386 1 439 7080
Fax: + 386 1 430 3530

© 2009 - 24 Vertigo