In the 1950's, Ludvik Jahn was expelled from the Communist Party and the University by his fellow students, because of a politically incorrect note he sent to his girlfriend. Fifteen years ...
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Middle-aged Antonin and his friends, the major, now retired, and the canon, are in the river, swimming and philosophizing. Then it starts to rain. It just seems to be that sort of summer. ... See full summary »
A small group of adult bourgeois friends are on a day outing in the country, that outing which includes having a picnic. While they are going for a walk after the picnic, they encounter a ... See full summary »
Towards the end of 1942 a young prisoner Maruska (Magda Vásáryová) awaits in her cell in prison in Breslau (after war Polish Wroclaw) her execution. After death sentence it was ninety nine ... See full summary »
Engineer Jan Sebek (Jan Kacer) is undergoing treatment in a mental home after his unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide. His therapist, via discussions both with the patient and with ... See full summary »
Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
Set against the backdrop of a repressed Czechoslovakia, five non-related vignettes are presented, each showcasing the need and want for human connection. In "Mr. Baltazar's Death", a middle... See full summary »
TV mechanic Slávek (Josef Abrhám) takes his wife Ivana (Eva Límanová) to the maternity hospital. From the moment they say goodbye, the couple can't stop thinking about each other. Their ... See full summary »
One of the most important images of the Czech New Wave 60s, which was ranked among the top ten domestic films of all time. Feature debut screenwriter and director Ivan Passer is currently ... See full summary »
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 »
A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.
In the 1950's, Ludvik Jahn was expelled from the Communist Party and the University by his fellow students, because of a politically incorrect note he sent to his girlfriend. Fifteen years later, he tries to get his revenge by seducing Helena, the wife of one of his accusers.Written by
Kundera is one of the most enjoyable Central/East European authors of the post-war period and that is because he wrote a number of books with a very simple, and flavorful, message: we fight totalitarianism by simply not caring about it; adultery is one very good way to be a dissident. Ludvik Jahn served in a non-combatant military unit, then spent a year in a prison (without conviction) and had to work for six years in the mines (for lack of university degree) just because his colleagues and Party comrades took very seriously a stupid joke he wrote to his beloved for absolutely personal reasons. Jahn's revenge had to take the form of a joke because his major concern was namely that: how could these men take so seriously an innocent charade? Yet, his joke turned out bad: instead of humiliating Pavel, the once leader of the students' party organization, by seducing his wife, Jahn humiliated the innocent, and naive, woman, broke the heart of her young suitor and, most unfortunately, had to realize that Pavel, the allegedly serious communist, fared much better in the field of adultery: enjoying the company of 20-year old attractive students who have absolutely no notion of Marxism and the construction of socialism. It is through this realization, and not so much through his earlier ostracization, that Ludvik is confronted with the consequences of his own misplaced joke. His lonely protest against the system failed.
ADDED IN 2009: now, that Kundera was revealed to have himself denounced a "capitalist spy" to the police authorities and thus contributed to the long-term prison/correction camp sentences of several people, this book/movie develops in an unexpected dimension. Was it a deliberate, or subconscious way for Kundera to deal with his own guilt, a way to explain to his younger self that what he did, apparently out of good faith and sense of civic duty, at the age of 20, seemed nothing but utter stupidity at the age of forty?
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