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On homeland mythologies and empowerment: an interview with Czech film-maker Petr Václav

Just before the Barbican screening of his award-winning 2016 film We Are Never Alone, director Petr Václav took some time to frame his work in a conversation that started out with questions about Czech identity, and ended on post-truth masculinity and why We Are Never Alone is, essentially, a feminist film: women have a future,…

Julia Secklehner | December 12, 2016
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MADE IN PRAGUE PREVIEW: ‘Family Film’ (Omerzu, 2015) – perhaps best kept in the family

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Described as ‘a fusion between black comedy and drama’, Olmo Omerzu’s Family Film (2015) slowly unravels the superficial layers of a near-perfect wealthy family living in Prague, which falls apart as the parents go sailing in Asia with dog Otto, leaving behind their two children, grown-up Anna and her 15-year-old brother Erik. Moving from everyday…

Julia Secklehner | November 22, 2016
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PLAY POLAND PREVIEW: ‘Demon’ (Wrona, 2015) – an exotic allegory of politics today

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Marcin Wrona was a rising star of Polish cinema before his untimely death in 2015 and Demon, his final and most ambitious work, would have been his breakthrough had he lived. It’s a curious, unsettling film, made more so by parallels between the life of its director and protagonist, which will no doubt earn it…

Natasha Berger | November 19, 2016
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PLAY POLAND PREVIEW: ‘Strange Heaven’ (Gajewski, 2015) – an up-to-the-minute tale of immigration and broken dreams

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After a lengthy absence from the big screen, Dariusz Gajewski marks his first foray back into feature-length production with Obce Niebo (Strange Heaven, 2015) –  written, directed, and produced by the Polish cinematographer. Following a seven-year hiatus, Gajewski has successfully returned to the director’s chair to craft a film both modern and relevant, but also with a charming…

Oliver Buxton | November 17, 2016
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PLAY POLAND PREVIEW: Exhibition of Polish Film Posters

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Play Poland, the Polish film festival taking place across the UK in November 2016, has not only in recent years deepened UK audiences’ knowledge of Polish film, but has a website designed to provide insight into different aspects of movie making in Poland throughout the late 20th century. This includes a virtual exhibition platform about…

Julia Secklehner | November 17, 2016
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MADE IN PRAGUE REVIEW: ‘The Noonday Witch’ (Sádek, 2016): an ambitious blend of nightmarish folklore and contemporary psychodrama

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Emerging Czech director Jiří Sádek has pulled off quite a coup with his feature debut Polednice (The Noonday Witch), an ambitious blend of nightmarish folklore and contemporary psychodrama. Not only has he secured the refined household-name Ana Greislerová for the lead part, but also managed to produce a highly-polished piece of cinema to live up…

Oliver Buxton | November 13, 2016