1 Jul 2004 00:00 - 15 Jul 2004 00:00
Season of documentary films from the Visegrad countries: The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.
Thursday 1st July
PICTURES OF THE OLD WORLD
(Obrazy stareho sveta)
Czechoslovakia (Slovakia) | 1972 | 65m | 35mm | English subtitles| dir. Dusan Hanak
A masterful documentary providing a perceptive view of the autumn of human life, inspired by Martin Marencak’s photographical portraits. Seemingly bizarre characters often hide a tragic destiny, struggle with poverty, selfishness, sickness or old age but at the same time to retain the ability to fight the world and themselves and live their lives intensively. One of the most significant works of Slovak cinematography, it was banned for 17 years due to ideological and esthetic reasons and was finally fully released in 1989.
Grand Prix at IFF Nyon 1988, awarded at IFF Munich 1989
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN
(Wszystko moze sie zdarzyc)
Poland | 1995 | 36m | 35mm | English subtitles | dir. Marcel Lozinski
A sunlit park, the rhythm of Viennese waltzes, 6 year old Tomek singing to himself riding his scooter… With no prejudice and boundless belief, he talks to the elderly people who sit on benches around. Naive, innocent questions meet spontaneous and simple answers, which come from lifelong experience. Life values such as health, faith, work, family and solitude are casually and unwittingly revealed.
Prizes at IFFS Oberhausen 1995; 1st Filmprize Bornhom 1995, Golden Spire San Francisco 1996, Award for Best Docummentary – World Television Festival Japan 1997
Slovakia | 2003 | 86m | English subtitles | dir. Peter Kerekes
A documentary film about ‘Stara plovarna’ (The Old Swimming Pool) in Kosice where in the words of the filmmaker “...history came to bathe”. Seen through several stories which unfold between the years 1936 and 2002, the film captures 66 seasons at the popular swimming pool.
1st prize DOCAVIV, Tel Aviv 2004
Thursday 8th July
HITLER, STALIN AND I
(Hitler, Stalin a ja)
Czech Republic | 2001 | 56m | English subtitles |dir. Helena Trestikova
The life story of a Jewish woman, Heda Margoliova, who together with her husband is sent into the Lodz ghetto and then deported to Auschwitz. After the war her husband becomes a communist, only to find himself at the centre of a trial and sentenced to death. His wife is marked as the wife of ‘a betrayer of the people’. Overall a stirring picture of the 20th century under two crushing totalitarian regimes.
Hungary | 1991 | 77m | English subtitles | dir. Tamas Almasi
A film about women prisoners held without a sentence in the infamous Kistarcsa detention camp during the post war Stalinist dictatorship in Hungary. “We arranged a ‘reunion’ in the same prison cells. Neither myself, nor the women knew what would happen next. It was like watching live television.” Tanas Almasi
Winner of the Hungarian Film Critics’ Award and of the Prix Europa in Berlin
Thursday 15th July
THE BEAUTY EXCHANGE
(Zeny pro meny)
Czech Republic | 2003 | 75m | English subtitles | dir. Erica Hnikova
The perfect body is a phenomenon of today’s world. Zuzana becomes a fashionable icon – a model, Eva spends all her savings on breast implants and Magda battles with her weight. There is also a student beauty queen and a radical feminist, as well as the editors of Cosmopolitan magazine. This is about responsibility, current fashion trends, and the connection between money and beauty.
THE KINGDOM OF SILENCE
Hungary | 2001 | 32m | English subtitles | dir. Robert Lakatos
A ten-year-old deaf boy’s encounter with a camera, and his discovery of a new way of communication. “When I learned that the photographer working in the next village is also deaf and dumb, the idea of The Kingdom of Silence was conceived.” Robert Lakatos
Winner of the 2003 Hungarian Film Critics’ Award for Best Young Documentary Filmmaker.
(Ballada o kozie)
Poland | 2004 | 58m | English subtitles | dir. Bartek Konopka
Based on a recent social experiment: several impoverished families in a village receive a goat as part of their social allowance in order to “teach responsibility, pull people out of inertia and provide fun, milk and cheese for children”. This fairy-tale like story is shown from the point of view of goats Balbina, Sabina and Munchie. Goats have their own will and charm. Their presence adds colour and purpose. The change is not a revolution – but awakens the good in people and positivity in their lives. A surreal slant on reality.
Winner of the PLANET Dokumentarfilmpreis 2004
116 Long Acre
WC2E 9PA London
From: 1 Jul 2004 00:00
To: 15 Jul 2004 00:00
Czech Centre London