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Program

30 Jan 2020 - 26 Mar 2020

In Focus: Jana Bokova

A long overdue tribute to UK – Czech filmmaker Jana Bokova celebrating her prolific and award-laden career spanning over 40 years, four countries and featuring more than 25 films in four languages. Forced to leave Prague in 1968, home and identity is inevitably one of Bokova’s main pre-occupations throughout her work, most notably in her latest film Bye Bye Shanghai. Partly based in Buenos Aires, Bokova has become one of the leading European documentarist of Latin American culture. In particular tango, as well as other Latin-American styles of dance and music, features strongly in her films, as she weaves stories of people and their everyday lives into powerful and atmospheric city portraits made mostly for the BBC series Omnibus and Arena.

Bokova’s films are life-affirming celebrations of the individuality and unquenchable optimism of her subjects, with whom she establishes a rare intimacy. The visual style and shaping of her films complement her sketches of individuals as they open up their lives and their homes for Bokova’s camera. Real-life events blend into her cinema fiction. At other times, it seems as if fiction has intruded into a documentary with Bokova casting a poetic eye over reality.  

Film director Jana Bokova has been living between London, Paris and Buenos Aires since 1968 making films in English, French, Spanish and Czech. Czech-born Bokova left her home country in 1968 at the time of the Soviet invasion and continued her studies in Paris, where she gained a doctorate in Fine Arts, specialising in photography and the Surrealists. She then worked in the USA, contributing to Rolling Stone magazine as a photographer, and subsequently became a film student at the National Film School in England debuting as a film director in 1975 with the critically acclaimed Militia Battlefield. She made films regularly for the BBC arts series Omnibus and Arena, winning many international awards.  Amongst her impressive list of more than 20 documentaries are: Just One More War (1977), Marika and Marevna (1977-78), Living Room (1978), I Look Like This (1979), Quinn Running (1980), Dallas: The Big Store (1981), Sunset People (1983), Havana (1989-90), Avignon (1999), Eric Clapton and Friends (2002), Tango Salon (2004) and Bye Bye Shanghai (2008). Bokova made the feature films Hôtel du Paradis (France, 1986), screened at the Cannes International Film Festival and Diary for a Tale (Diario para un cuento, Argentina 1998). The National Film Theatre in London ran a season of her early documentaries in 1979, which was followed by a full retrospective of her work at the Cinémathèque française, Paris (2002), National Film Archives, Prague (2012) and  Buenos Aires Museum de Cinema (2018). In 2012 Jana Bokova received a Czech award for cultural achievement.

Leslie Megahey, former BBC Head of Music and Arts programmes, on Jana Bokova's work

With special thanks to Jana Bokova, Leslie Megahey and Henrietta Foster.


PROGRAMME


 

HAVANA
+ Q&A WITH JANA BOKOVÁ
AND ALAN YENTOB
Thursday 30 January 2020, 7 pm


LA CONFITERIA IDEAL: THE TANGO SALON
+ Q&A WITH JANA BOKOVÁ AND

LESLIE MEGAHEY
Thursday 27 February 2020, 7 pm







BYE BYE SHANGHAI
+ Q&A WITH JANA BOKOVÁ
AND HENRIETTA FOSTER

Thursday 26 March 2020, 7 pm










 

 

Venue:

Czech Centre at the Czech Embassy Cinema, 26-30 Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, London, W8 4QY

Date

From: 30 Jan 2020
To: 26 Mar 2020

Organizer:

Czech Centre


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