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Fernando Coni Campos,
Paulo Gil Soares
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At 38, Thomas is at a crossroads in his life. His parents are nonstop guilt-inducers, his ex-wife is always on his back, and his son is far from inspirational. Thomas himself is almost too intellectual to survive daily life. The attentions of a straightforward English teacher seem to be a way out.
It looks like I am the first viewer to comment on this film, and I am flattered. I hope that other will follow, as the film deserves better than one viewer comment and one critics article in imdb.
Produced in Slovakia in 1992, the film belongs to the transition period after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Directors and script writers were playing with the newly conquered freedom, and exploring the limits of expression in theme and style. The tradition of the East-European deeply psychological acting is still strong, as well as the slow pace not easy to bear for audiences used to the American fast-pace movies, especially. Some of the relationship teams (between the adults, and between adults and the teenager) do not seem too shocking today, but were certainly new for a cinema just made free from the communist censorship, that forbid among other almost all sexual-related subjects or even allusions.
The story reflects somehow the same complex of situations. A jobless and divorcee late thirties guy faces a double crisis with his English girlfriend leaving Slovakia, and his teenager son looking for ways to express himself beyond the usual education borders. His dilemas are also a game in which limits of unknown freedom are to be tested. Should he leave his country for new horizons, paying the price of losing some of his identity?
This is certainly not the best film of its kind, and not an easy entertainment for people who do not know or are not interested in the respective period and region. However, for these who lived under Communism, or try to understand what was Communism, how life was in the transition era after its fall, and how cinema progressed beyond this transition, this is an important movie.
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