Ice hockey is a Czech national obsession, and the country's victory over Russia in the 1969 World Championships, the year following the Soviet invasion, is a celebrated moment in its ... See full summary »
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Felix de Rooy
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Ice hockey is a Czech national obsession, and the country's victory over Russia in the 1969 World Championships, the year following the Soviet invasion, is a celebrated moment in its history. In Marek Najbrt's black comedy, the heroic exploits take place only on a black and white tv screen as a group of representative misfits gather and watch the game in a desolate village on the Czech border. Fuelled by the prophetic visions of an alcoholic, the self-obsessed fans - the owner of a failed pub; a bigoted invalid, Jarda; the neurotic Pavel; Josef (who hopes his father wasn't a Roma); and the bus driver who provides their only link with the outside world - follow a much less successful course than the national team. Alongside them are Zdena, the publican's wife, who hopes for a better life, and a local Sudeten German, who was dispossessed following the war. While consisting of recognisable types, Najbrt's bleak portrait reveals a world of alcoholism, debt, racism, bigotry, and infidelity... Written by
2004 London Film Festival
Humble sports film from Czech republic : It might set a new trend.
East European cinema is yet to produce its Rambo and Loneliness of the long distance runner type of heroes. This is because films about sporting heroes have not been made in large numbers. If my memory serves me right, I reckon this film "Champions" directed by Marek Najbrat is one of the few films produced in the region which talk of sports.The unique thing about Mestri is that it is a nice clean family entertainer.The game of ice hockey is not at all the film's main theme. It is rather an excuse to explore the unknown depths of human minds thereby unraveling complex permutations and combinations related to human relationships.There are even good scenes of how life in a small provincial town look. There is a feeling of one for all and all for one.Strongly recommended for all the admirer of films about Sports.
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