Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a ... See full summary »
In the aftermath of World War II, a former Czech soldier takes charge of a manor formerly owned by a German family. He falls in love with the daughter, who is now a maid, and is forced to ... See full summary »
Oldrich "Fajolo" Fajták (Marián Bielik), a student who directs quasi-existentialist verbal abuse at his girlfriend Bela Blazejová (Jana Beláková), takes off to a formally volunteer summer work camp at a farm where he meets her grandfather.
Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »
Lemuel Gulliver (Lubomír Kostelka) has had a car accident and continues his journey across the unknown countryside on foot. On the road he finds a dead rabbit dressed like a man and takes a... See full summary »
Munich at night: Robert Susmeit, a 16-year-old teenager who is jealously obsessed with his mother Hilde, traces her and her latest lover at a mundane apartment building where he kills the ... See full summary »
Dr. Braun is forbidden to practice medicine because he's a Jew living in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. He's old, seems resigned about the fate of the Jews, and even works in the Department of Confiscation of Jewish Property. One day a neighbor asks him to assist a wounded political fugitive. Dr. Braun reluctantly operates to remove the bullet, but warns that plenty of morphine will soon be needed in order to keep the man from screaming when he awakes, which would attract unwanted attention. After some soul searching, Dr. Braun decides to redeem himself and reclaim his identify as a person and doctor by continuing to provide assistance. His search for the scarce morphine takes him on a nightmarish journey which includes a brothel where local women are forced to be prostitutes for German soldiers, a bar where the locals try to drown their misery in booze and dancing, and a Jewish insane asylum with a high suicide rate. Meanwhile, in a world where there is constant propaganda instructing... Written by
I spent one winter systematically going through each & every film in the London Czech Centre's Video library, & of all the films, I returned to this one time & again. It's a fantastic & bizarre film, where the state of despair that existed under communism is encoded in a strange blending of the past , the present & film
There is the feeling that an ad-hoc attempt to get past the censors unwittingly produces an utterly Czechoslovakian perspective.To those familiar with Eastern Europe pre 1989, the sense of time having become stuck & disorientated & playing games with your perception is part of
the magic of this film.
My fondness for this film is rooted in a nostalgia or need to remember
communist Europe. I first visited Prague in the mid 1980's & i was so struck that the Prague of this film replicated almost identically the Prague i found & came to know 20 years later, in the last years of Communism. My nights at the Cafe
Slavia were exactly as the Jazz club scenes depicted in the film, with the same dramas & the same characters. Also the sense of mistrust , betrayal & of being watched & listened to & the perverse relation to Psychiatry. I thought this connection was very profound, & it made me think this film was, in some way, important . Both the film & my experiences in Prague sat either side of the Brief thaw of the late sixties. They bypassed that optimistic period & looked directly at each other; the one reflecting a National trauma of the war & Communist conversion & the other reflecting the trauma of 2 decades of
stagnation. Often when people think of Czech New Wave, they think in terms of 60's youth & Prague spring. But this film brought home to me how brief that
period really was & it's focus is the context from which that period rose &
returned to; a shockingly, relentless, hyper-unreal, oppressive isolation which was the former state of Czechoslovakia. Go see, fantastic -
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