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CZECH100 Made in Prague PREVIEW: ‘Barefoot’ (Svěrák, 2017) – ‘child’s story in midst of a war that changed the course of history

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Wartime, circa 1943. Young Eda (Alois Grec) and his family live in an apartment block in Prague. From the window, Eda can see the barracks of Nazi soldiers occupying Prague. In the backyard, people from the house play volleyball in the afternoons. Eda’s father (Ondřej Vetchý) secretly listens to resistance radio programmes and refuses to…

Julia Secklehner | 31/10/2018
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CZECH100 Made in Prague PREVIEW: ‘President Blaník’ (Najbrt, 2018) – ‘a crazy ride not to be missed’

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Tonda Blaník’s a lobbyist. His hobby’s fashion at its boldest. His best friend’s his mum. And he’s running for President. This brief profile’s what we see in the first minutes of Marek Najbrt’s President Blaník (2018), a political satire that plays somewhere between fiction and reality: Blaník’s not real, but the elections are. So are…

Julia Secklehner | 31/10/2018
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CZECH100 Made in Prague PREVIEW: ‘The White World According to Daliborek’ (Klusák, 2017) – ‘more relevant than ever’

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With the rise of right-wing politics in Central Europe in recent years, the ‘filter bubble’, meaning that all-encompassing social media rarely confronts people with opinions that oppose their own, has led to growing division between those to the left, the right and at the centre. Should you be standing in a left or centre bubble,…

Julia Secklehner | 30/10/2018
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Projecting Czech History 1918 – 2018, Film Review: ‘Lost in Munich’ (Zelenka, 2015) and discussion with Vít Smetana and Peter Neville – ‘A triumph for its writer director Zelenka’

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The awarding winning Lost in Munich (Zelenka 2015) is a fast paced mix of documentary and farce.  Director Petr Zelenka takes an absurdist look at the Munich Agreement of 1938, lauded as a diplomatic victory at the time, but still seen by Czechs as a total disaster and a betrayal.  In the opening sequence newsreels of…

Alison Miller | 12/10/2018
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Polish films at Raindance Film Festival in London

‘UK Premieres and Best Discoveries 4-5 October 2018 Raindance Film Festival Vue Piccadilly 19 Lower Regent Street London SW1Y 4LR Tower. A Bright Day dir. Jagoda Szelc, Poland, 106 min BOOK NOW  In an small rural community, Kaja returns to her family after a six-year absence, during which time her daughter Nina has been raised…

Julia Secklehner | 27/09/2018
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FILM REVIEW: Licu, a Romanian story (Dumitrescu, 2018) – ‘a rainy afternoon film with glimpses of truth-telling’

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Licu, a Romanian story is a sufficiently encompassing title: personal and national anecdotes line up like neat little toy soldiers in Ana Dumitrescu’s 2018 documentary. Licu, a 92-year-old man, muses on his life in the past near-century in Romania and the memories that have come to be his primary companions. Licu’s a fine and subtle narrator:…

Andreea Scridon | 01/09/2018
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NEW RUSSIAN DRAMA WEEK: 4 contemporary Russian plays

New Russian Drama Week by Xameleon Theatre Plays from the Russian speaking world. Series of rehearsed readings. Directed by London based Russian  directors – Dmitry Turchaninnov and Alice Terekhof. 13th September – Tanya Tanya by Olga Mukhina – In English with Russian surtitles. Translated by John Freedman. Directed by Dmitry Turchaninov. 14th September – Tomorrow by Natalia…

Julia Secklehner | 29/08/2018
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Theatre Review: ‘All That Remains’ (Olesya Khromeychuk/Molodyi Teatr London, 2018) – ‘a rare chance of grasping a genuine perspective about the conflict in Ukraine’

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Molodyi Teatr London, a Ukrainian-British theatre group which has previously produced successful shows like Bloody Europeans and Penetrating Europe or Migrants Have Talent, performed the premiere of its latest play All That Remainsin Camden People’s Theatre on 30th of June. All That Remains, written by Molodyi Teatr member Olesya Khromeychuk, somewhat departs from the cabaret-like…

Iga Szczodrowska | 19/08/2018
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‘Youth on the March’ KinoKlassika Review: ‘Assa’ (Solovev, 1987) – ‘a fight to the death between young and old, corrupt and innocent’

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Assa starts with a bang: a sequence of spellbinding opening credits in lurid pink playing over footage of two drummers, skinny youths in tatty clothes and dirty blond hair. It ends with a bang, too. Viktor Tsoi, legendary frontman of Russian rock band Kino, strides onto the screen to sing his famous anthem ‘Peremen!’ –…

Eva Rosenthal | 22/06/2018