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6 Oct 2006 00:00 - 9 Oct 2006 00:00

Reality Check

Following last year’s Central European documentary film festival “Across the Border” this year’s season showcases work by outstanding ‘documentarists’ from Austria (Michael Glawogger), the Czech Republic (Helena Trestikova), Poland/Germany (Stanislaw Mucha), Slovakia (Marko Skop) and Slovenia (Filip Robar Dorin). Presenting a wide range of documentary styles and themes, some of the films offer an exciting insight into the lives and cultures of people in these neighbouring countries, while others deal with more global issues.


Friday 6 October


Michael Glawogger Double Bill


6.30 pm


Michael Glawogger, Austria 1996, 87 min. sub-titles

“Cinema in Your Head” is a crime-story-erotic-lyrical-experimental-vampire-fantasy-horror-soap-opera-splatter-trash-road-movie-melodram posing as a documentary. Participants and creators talk to the camera about non-existent films, or films, which did not exist before “Cinema in Your Head” was made.




8.20 pm

Workingman’s Death

Michael Glawogger, Austria 2005, 122 min., sub-titles

The documentary follows the trail of the HEROES in the illegal mines of the Ukraine, sniffs out GHOSTS among the sulphur workers in Indonesia, finds itself face to face with LIONS at a slaughterhouse in

Nigeria, mingles with BROTHERS as they cut a huge oil tanker into pieces in Pakistan, and joins Chinese steel workers in hoping for a glorious FUTURE. However the real future is now in Germany.

Introduction and Q&A with Michael Glawogger tbc



Saturday 7 October


Michael Glawogger and Helena Trestikova Double Bill


3 pm


Michael Glawogger, Austria 1998, 90min., sub-titles

The film tells in twelve individual chapters, of life in four of the largest cities in the world. This is a film about work, survival and circumstances, which can be found throughout the world. Many people don't have much of a chance in it, and they confront this fact with dignity, energy and inventiveness.




4.55 pm


Helena Trestikova, Czech Republic, 2001, 58min., sub-titles

Katka is a heroin addict who tries to quit while still supporting her habit by stealing and later on by prostitution. Trestikova follows Katka´s fate for five years not only documenting her gradual decline but also her incredible openness and optimism for the future.




Helena Trestikova Double Bill


6.30 pm

The Sweet Century

Helena Trestikova, Czech Republic 1997, 58min., sub-titles

A portrait of seven resilient women during the Stalinist period imprisoned for up to 16 years for opposition to the government. Opening with newsreel footage welcoming the new century, their fascinating stories are intercut with images documenting the 20th century. Highly regarded both for its subject and unlikely sense of affirmation. Documentary winner at Karlovy Vary Film Festival 1988





7.55 pm

Marriage Stories: Ivana and Vaclav 20 Years Later

Helena Trestikova, Czech Republic, 2005, 95min., sub-titles

Commencing on the wedding day of two young architects in 1980, this documentary traces 25 years of their married life using a time-lapse method.  In two contrasting parts Trestikova poignantly captures Ivana’s and Vasek’s humble beginnings full of optimism in the normalisation-era socialism as well as their frustration and setbacks in realising business opportunities and bringing up their five children when capitalism arrives. A part of a highly acclaimed series of documentaries, this is a captivating and intimate insight into lives lived to the full and dreams confronted by reality. An audience hit in the Czech Republic.

Introduction and Q&A with Helena Trestikova




Sunday 8 October


Filip Robar Dorin Double Bill



Rems and Mammoths

Filip Robar Dorin, Slovenia, 1985, 82min., sub-titles

A documentary fable about nationalism, which sheds light on the problems of Bosnians living in Slovenia. Huso, a migrant worker at a garbage centre, is full of life, but dies wretchedly in a dark street in Ljubljana. Marko, diagnosed with “Bosnia-blue” syndrome, frequents pubs where he attacks fellow immigrants.

Full of songs and love for Bosnia as well as witty commentary on Slovene xenophobia and prejudices. Grand Prix Mannheim 1985




4 pm

Aven Chavora

Filip Robar Dorin, Slovenia, 2005, 90min., sub-titles

Bojan, successful Romany businessman, and main character in the documentary “Opre Roma” made 23 years ago, assesses the changes to Roma life in two different settlements.  His family co-exists happily with others preserving the Roma ethos and adding to the multiculturalism of their community.  In the village of Bucna Vas, however, difficulties with local inhabitants often escalate into conflicts.

Introduction and Q&A with Filip Robar Dorin



Sunday 8 October


Marko Skop Tripple Bill


6.30 pm

Celebration of Lonely Palm

Marko Skop, Slovakia, 2005, 40min., sub-titles

Hommage to Ello Havetta, a forgotten Slovak filmmaker who made only two movies. The film creates a parallel between the life of a palm tree and that of a man in a humorous tribute to Havettas‘ imagination and aesthethics.




7.10 pm

Protection of an Office

Marko Skop, Slovakia, 1999, 20min., sub-titles

The bizarre background to VIP protection during the inauguration of a new Slovak president.  Almost a manual of ‘how to go about it’ we follow interviews with potential candidates for security jobs and existing bodyguards as well as a rehearsal and the actual operation where images contrast with words to bring out a strong sense of absurdity.




7.55 pm

Other Worlds

Marko Skop, Slovakia 2006, 78min., sub-titles

In a region in Eastern Slovakia which represents a contemporary "Babel“ of nationalities and religions, the director portrays with humour and deep understanding six unlikely but fascinating heroes (locals, Ruthenians, Romanies and Jews) as well as the process of globalisation which slowly erases uniqueness and tradional diversity. Audience award at Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2006

Introduction and Q&A with Marko Skop



Monday 9 October


Stanislaw Mucha Double Bill


6.30 PM

The Centre (Die Mitte)

Germany 2004, 85mins., sub-titles.

The director takes off on an entertaining odyssey – sometimes burlesque, sometimes tragicomic – across Central Europe in search of the one-and-only, the "true centre" of a continent covered with centres. Following “Absolut Warhola”, this is the second part of Mucha’s European trilogy.




8.20 PM

Reality Shock

Germany/Poland 2005, 79mins.,  sub-titles.

This final part of trilogy is an absurd documentary comedy showing a group of people who, through political and economic changes have been ripped out of their isolation and stagnancy. In the stinky Lenin-bar, among gravediggers, kindergarten children and plump little trolls, the director comes across a group of "strangers" for whom the concept of Europe seems very alien.

Introduction and Q&A with Stanislaw Mucha tbc.




“Reality Check” is jointly organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum, Czech Centre, Polish Cultural Institute, Slovak Film Institute and Slovenian Film Fund. Supported by the Platform Culture Central Europe, Goethe-Institut and Slovenian Embassy.


Curated by Renata Clark and Fritz Urschitz.




Ticket prices per double/triple bill: £6.50 (£5.50 conc)


Box Office: 020 8237 1111

For the press release please click here


30 Kensington Palace Gardens
W8 4QY London
United Kingdom


From: 6 Oct 2006 00:00
To: 9 Oct 2006 00:00


Czech Centre

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