the good driver smetana

Made in Prague Special Event: Free Streaming of ‘The Good Driver Smetana’

Made in Prague Bonus film: The Good Driver Smetana (Dobrý řidič Smetana) As a special bonus of the Made in Prague festival the Czech Centre is offering to all the visitors of its website free streaming of The Good Driver Smetana (Dobrý řidič Smetana). The bizarre case of the Olomouc bus driver Roman Smetana, who…

Robin Ashenden | 14/11/2014
havel portrait cropped

Made in Prague: ‘Citizen Havel’ reviewed by Robin Ashenden

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‘It’s almost as though I’m an impostor in this job…I feel at any moment as thought someone will come along and divest me of office and throw me back into prison.’ So spoke Václav Havel of his Presidency of the Czech Republic which came, a month or so after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, as…

Robin Ashenden | 10/11/2014
The Way Out

Made in Prague: Petr Václav’s ‘The Way Out’, reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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With an estimated population of around 10 million, Romani people constitute what is arguably Europe’s largest ethnic minority – and the high level of impoverishment, dire living conditions and systematic exclusion from employment and education that blight the group are among Europe’s most pressing social problems. Though Europe’s Roma primarily reside in the centre, east…

Jonathan Karstadt | 09/11/2014
marta kubisova singly (3)

Marta Kubišová: ‘The Magic Voice of a Rebel’. Olga Sommerová’s new film reviewed by Robin Ashenden

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Among Eastern European nations, the Czechs are an anomaly. While neighbouring countries like Hungary and Poland seem to romanticise martyrdom and self-sacrifice, the Czechs – brave when the circumstances demand it – have throughout their history put survival first. Budapest and Warsaw were flattened in World War Two, but Prague was left unscathed, much of…

Robin Ashenden | 04/11/2014
play poland (2)

Play Poland Film Festival London 23rd October – 15th November 2014

“Play Poland Festival comes to London The 2014 edition of PLAY POLAND FILM FESTIVAL IN LONDON continues to showcase the finest in Polish cinema, art and culture. 23 October – 15 November 2014 at various venues. 23 October 2014 at 6:30pm  cafe 1001 Tickets on doors: £7 PLAY FULL opening night  Special screening: SHORTS and…

Robin Ashenden | 20/10/2014
Kostadin Bonev

Kostadin Bonev’s ‘Five Stories about a Shooting’ reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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On 23rd July 1943 Nikola Vaptsarov, a 32-year-old former naval machinist and communist collaborator, was found guilty of his part in a plot to supply arms to Bulgarian antifascist military groups and shot dead by firing squad. At the time of his death, he had published a single volume of poetry, its print limited to…

Jonathan Karstadt | 29/09/2014
night will fall cameraman

Frontline Screening: ‘Night Will Fall’ reviewed by Nick Barlay.

A British soldier, standing in Bergen Belsen concentration camp shortly after its liberation on 15 April 1945, speaks directly to the camera: ‘Now I know what I’m fighting for.’ His words echoed General Eisenhower’s statement after visiting Ohrdruf concentration camp only three days earlier: ‘We are told that the American soldier does not know what…

Nick Barlay | 21/09/2014
The Maids of Wilko

Wajda’s ‘The Maids of Wilko’ reviewed by Jesse Kirkwood

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Andrzej Wajda is perhaps best known as a director of epic films explicitly tackling national issues. His ‘war trilogy’ (1954-58) is celebrated as a nuanced depiction of the Nazi occupation of Poland and the aftermath of the Second World War, while his more recent works include uncontroversial versions of canonical Polish texts, such as Pan Tadeusz…

Jesse Kirkwood | 18/09/2014