Set in an underground dungeon inhabited by bundled, ragged human beings, after the nuclear holocaust. The story follows the wanderings of a hero through the situations of survival. People ... 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.
Coffin Joe is still looking for the perfect woman to give birth to a son of his, and, cleared of the past crimes in the first film (At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul), keeps terrorizing the ... See full summary »
José Mojica Marins
José Mojica Marins,
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.
A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.
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 -
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this