Caitlin Tymukas Spence reviews ‘Transport from Paradise’ (Zbyněk Brynych, 1962)

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Transport from Paradise  (1962) is a vivid look at life in a Czech Ghetto, and an account of the life of Arnost Lustig who spent time at Terezinstadt camp-ghetto before being sent to Auschwitz. Pairing the atrocious treatment of the Jews with scenes from Nazi propaganda films, we see how the world was deceived as to the…

Caitlin Spence | 22/07/2014
cabaret hrabal

Oliver Buxton reviews ‘Cabaret Hrabal’ at the Horse Hospital

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Bohumil Hrabal, the Czech novelist, is a tenderly shared secret among those who read him. He is not nearly as well known as Kundera, his contemporary, but created a world just as intoxicating: one of marginal, at times humiliated people whose constricted outer lives – as waiters, railway men, paper-pulpers – masks the boundlessness of…

Oliver Buxton | 14/07/2014
diary for my children janos and juli

Robin Ashenden reviews ‘Diary for My Children’ (Márta Mészáros, 1982)

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Diary for My Children is the first in Márta Mészáros’s autobiographical Napló trilogy, which also includes Diary for My Loves (1987)  and Diary for My Mother and Father (1990).  Banned for a time in Mészáros’s native Hungary, it was first shown in Britain in 1984. Now it’s released as a single work on DVD, the arrival…

Robin Ashenden | 07/07/2014
red forest woman

Belarus Free Theatre: Molly Flynn interviews ‘Red Forest’ director Nicolai Khalezin

Nicolai Khalezin is the director of the Belarus Free Theatre’s newest production Red Forest. He co-founded the company along with his wife Natalia Kaliada and their collaborator Vladmir Shcherban in 2005. In 2011 Khalezin, Kaliada, and their family were granted political asylum in the UK. Since that time they have continued to produce new work…

Molly Flynn | 28/06/2014
birds orphans and fools man

Esther Harper reviews Juraj Jakubisko’s ‘Birds, orphans and fools’ (1969)

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Birds, Orphans and Fools, released in 1969, is both a prime example of the Czechoslovak New Wave and a product of the slackening of government censorship during the Prague Spring of 1968. The months of the Prague Spring had provided Juraj Jakubisko and directors like him with the ideal environment in which to create radical…

Esther Harper | 27/06/2014
joanna mother and child (2)

Jesse Kirkwood reviews Aneta Kopacz’s ‘Joanna’ at Open City Docs Fest

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                ‘What is your world like? Are you satisfied in it? Are you safe in it? Are you happy?’ Thought-provoking questions, posed by Joanna to her son Janek, to the readers of her widely followed blog, and now to the viewers of this short Polish documentary directed by Aneta…

Jesse Kirkwood | 26/06/2014

Cath Day reviews David Schneider’s ‘Making Stalin Laugh’ at JW3.

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David Schneider is probably most recognisable as BBC commissioning editor Tony Hayers in I’m Alan Partridge, cruelly denying Alan Partridge his second series and being invited, somewhat rudely, to smell Partridge’s cheese. Although most famous for his comedy writing and performing, Schneider is also a playwright. Making Stalin Laugh is his second play and was…

Robin Ashenden | 25/06/2014
little crushes

Jesse Kirkwood reviews ‘Little Crushes’ at the East End Film Festival

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Early in Little Crushes (Małe Stłuczki, 2014), the latest offering from filmmaking duo Aleksandra Gowin and Ireneusz Grzyb, an old man accidentally steps on and breaks a tiny trinket in his home. We see a wave of recognition and pain cross his face, and then the camera frames, in close-up, the reactions of the other characters…

Jesse Kirkwood | 25/06/2014

Sam Turner reviews ‘The Agreement’ (Karen Stokkendal Poulsen, 2014) at Frontline Club

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The Agreement is a unique and engaging documentary in which Danish director Karen Stokkendal Poulsen provides rare insight into the fascinating world of diplomatic negotiations. It follows the recent talks between Kosovo and Serbia to reach a viable agreement over disputed territory, something on which Serbia’s access to EU membership depends. The 60-minute narrative charts the talks in Brussels from beginning…

Sam Turner | 24/06/2014