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Czech Film Week returns to Israel’s movie theaters

CM 08/08/2021

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Czech Film Week is a highlight of the Israeli cinema calendar, and it will take place this year August 14-31 at the cinematheques in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya and Holon.

This year’s festival opens with Charlatan, the new film by acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland.
The award-winning film is a complex biographical drama about faith healer Jan Mikolasek that New York Times critic Lena Wilson called “the cure for the common biopic.”
Mikolasek was a renowned specialist who used unorthodox methods of diagnosis and treatment, skills that made him successful and wealthy.

He was so revered he was allowed to keep operating even during the Nazi era, but afterward he fell out of favor with the Communist regime.
He is portrayed in different time periods by a real-life father-and-son duo, Ivan Trojan and Josef Trojan.
Holland, who was born in Poland but who often works in the Czech Republic, has a long list of acclaimed films to her credit, among them the Oscar-nominated dramas Europa, Europa and In Darkness, as well as such films as Mr. Jones, the story of a Western reporter who broke the story of the Ukrainian famine, and Copying Beethoven. She has also directed episodes of the US television series The Wire, Treme and House of Cards.
Director Petr Zelenka, known for his offbeat stories and black humor, has a new psychological thriller out called Droneman, which looks at two very different friends who start a business using drones. Their friendship unravels when one of them becomes obsessed with politics and plots to assassinate then-US vice president Dick Cheney during his visit to Prague. Scenes from the film were shot in Israel.
Tiger Theory, a 2016 adventure comedy directed by Radek Bajgar, looks at the life of veterinarian Jan Berger (played by Jiri Bartoska, president of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival), who has a troubled relationship 
with his family.
The Czech Republic has a rich history of classic cinema, called the Czech New Wave, from the 1960s, and there are two movies from that era in the festival.
Coach to Vienna (1966), directed by Karel Kachyna, was pronounced “disgraceful ideological mischief” and was denounced as anti-Czech, anti-German and anti-partisan, and its director fled to the West.
It tells the story of an Austrian soldier fleeing the Russian army during World War II who forces a woman to come along with him. Iva Janzurova, one of the best Czech actresses of all time, who starred in the movie, is celebrating her 80th birthday this year.
Another Czech classic in the lineup is the comedy Ecce homo Homolka (1969), directed by Jaroslav Papousek, who worked together with Milos Forman. The film follows the lives of three generations of a family in Prague stuck in a small apartment, who argue about their weekend plans.
The 1990 documentary Antonin Dvorák, by Jaromil Jires, tells the story of the celebrated Czech composer who died in 1904. Noted for turning folk material into Romantic compositions, Dvorák was the first Bohemian composer to achieve worldwide recognition.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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