A bittersweet comedy set just prior to 1984, during the era of 'practical socialism'. For political reasons, Bedrich Mára (Bolek Polívka) has had to give up teaching at Prague's Academy of ... See full summary »
Animated plastic toys like Cowboy, Indian and Horse have problems, too. Cowboy and Indian's plan to surprise Horse with a homemade birthday gift backfires when they destroy his house ... See full summary »
The time is 1945-46. 10 year old Eda and his friend Tonda live in a small village outside Prague. In school, their class is so wild and indisciplined that their teacher quits and is ... See full summary »
Saxana has the enthusiasm, but lacks the right talent to become a witch. So she's kept in for 300 years - nothing unusual for a sorceress' school. Being bored, she skims through the ... See full summary »
Three middle-aged men go for a vacation with their children and learn to cope with their needs without their wives. Quickly, they plan to exhaust the kids to have some time off, but nothing really works out as planned.
A bittersweet comedy set just prior to 1984, during the era of 'practical socialism'. For political reasons, Bedrich Mára (Bolek Polívka) has had to give up teaching at Prague's Academy of Art. He is not allowed to exhibit and has been pushed to the sidelines of interest and lucrative commissions. He and his ceramicist wife (Eva Holubová) and two sons live in a small apartment on the outskirts of Prague. Míla Brecka (Jaroslav Dusek), the school principal, and his family stand in stark contrast to the Máras. Comrade Míla and his ambitious wife (Vilma Cibulková), Bedrich's fellow student from the Academy, have gone with the socialist flow for years. They find justification for their behavior in the usual words: 'Someones got to swim along with them to make things better; someones got to make that sacrifice!' Written by
Czech film center
Jan Hrebejk (Director) once again looks at an aspect of Czech history through the day to day lives of families. While Pupendo is not as good as his brilliant earlier film Pelisky it is still a very funny and interesting time capsule.
Through the two families we see two different methods of coping with life under Russian imposed communism. One family, Mara, the father a sculptor, an ever suffering wife, a deaf eldest son and a younger son who serves as the innocent inquirer into the unknown, avoid at all costs and to their detriment participating in the system. The other, Brecka, father a principal, mother a director of the Artist Union, daughter learning to be a sculptor and the son at High school, participates despite disagreeing with it.
I thoroughly disagree with the other reviewers who say that you had to have lived under communism to understand or enjoy this movie. All you need is an open mind, empathy and a sense of humour. I'm from Australia and I could not only relate to the story and characters but I laughed out loud all the way through it.
The humour comes from the relationships within the families, and between them the fears and dreams of the characters and their dealings with bureaucracy. Things that are universal. Sure the costumes and buildings are far drabber than any English speaking film set in the 80's, but lets be honest we didn't all dress like we were in a John Hughes film either.
Like most Czech films i have seen if you need fast paced action, special effects and a plot that is spelt out for you, then this movie is not for you. But if you appreciate the drama of living then it is an enjoyable slice of life to spend 2 hours watching.
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