Czechia's Best From This Year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

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Prague Morning

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As a week of tinseltown madness draws to an end, Prague Morning's film critic picks a few films that represent the best of what the Czech Republic presented to the world at KVIFF 2018. These films will soon be in cinemas near you.

Všechno bude / Winter Flies

Slovenian-Czech director Olmo Omerzu comes into his own with this surreal road movie about two young Czech teens, who steal a car and go on a road trip to nowhere. Not quite Y Tu Mama Tambien, but a magnificent attempt nonetheless; the plot is entertaining, the cinematography well executed, and both teenage actors are exceptional. Definitely worth a watch!

Až přijde válka / When the War Comes

Director Jan Gebert's second, made-for-television documentary, in collaboration with HBO, is edgy, fast-paced, and slick. Its contemporary sound and precise editing keeps you on the edge of your seat as Gebert delves headfirst into the lives of Peter Svrcek and his paramilitary group, the Slovak Recruits. Timely and frightening, the film, which premiered at Berlinale, shows how deep, thinly veiled fascist ideology has permeated into mainstream Slovak society, finding resonance with a number of young men.

Chvilky / Moments

Jenovefa Bokova's sincerity as twenty-something Anezka in this coming-of-age drama mirrors her own personal coming-of-age as an actress. Bokova singlehandedly carries this film about the life and travails of a young girl, who must shoulder responsibility for everything around her, as it all seems to be coming apart. Not all grim, the film has its moments of humour, and is worth watching for its depiction of the idiosyncrasies of Czech life, and as a formative phase in the career of a young actress destined for greatness.

King Skate

Simon Safranek's bad boy skater punk documentary is a fun watch and a refreshing change from the rather grave topics that the other films on this list address. Based on archival footage and photographs, the film traces the largely DIY skater subculture that emerged in Czechoslovakia in the 70s and 80s. With a great soundtrack, slick editing, and lots of laughs, this inspirational story is one of the few 'feel good' films that played at the festival this year.

Chata na Prodej / Bear With Us

Tomas Pavlicek returns to the big screen this year with his tribute to the favourite Czech prevarication – the dystopian world of the chata, or weekend home. The film tells the story of a family who converges on their chata, which has been put on sale for a lack of use, for one last weekend to relive their memories. The film, despite being formulaic, is a pleasant comedy, and Pavlicek shows why he is amongst the most gifted young Czech directors around, as he coxes his cast into an effortless portrayal of an often dysfunctional family, with comedic timing.

For more, see the program of the Sary Vary (the official echoes of the KVIFF) event that will be held in Prague and Brno this week

Author: Hrishabh Sandilya


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