Who Wants To Kill Jessie (Who Killed Jessie) (Kdo Chce Zabit Jessii)

BB.5 (out of 5) Deliriously campy science-fiction film about husband and wife scientists who are both trying to make breakthroughs at work. The wife has created a serum that gives troubled sleepers pleasant dreams but, in removing their nightmares from their minds, brings their visions to life in the real world. After her husband reads…

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Marketa Lazarova

BBBB (out of 5) A fascinating experience and an absolute challenge from beginning to end, though don’t take that to mean you should hesitate to watch this curious masterpiece.  It’s a truly unique venture about warring clans in medieval Europe, a collection of gorgeously shot images of battlefields and dirty hamlets populated by desperation and…

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Closely Watched Trains (Ostre Sledovane Vlaky)

BBBB (out of 5) Jiri Menzel’s Oscar winning film is a poignant observation of the loss of innocence in a world going mad. A young man in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia goes and works a simple job as a train dispatcher in order to live the easy life that has been enjoyed by his early-retired father. He…

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The Shop On Main Street (Obchod Na Korze)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A lazy, itinerant Slovak villager is given what he thinks is a golden goose when his Nazi-collaborating brother-in-law assigns him as the ‘Aryan’ supervisor of an old Jewish woman’s button shop. At first thrilled at the opportunity to bring more money home, the man eventually grows a conscience as he realizes…

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The Firemen’s Ball (Hori, Ma Panenko)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Small-town Czech firemen decide to host a ball in honour of their eighty-five year-old chairman, one in which they expect to pull off a lottery and a beauty contest. Sadly, things go wrong from the beginning as the lottery prizes start to go missing, the girls chosen for the pageant run…

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Loves Of A Blonde (Lasky Jedne Plavovlasky)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Deceptively simple charmer that takes place in a Czech factory town, where the women outnumber the men sixteen to one. The army has even placed a regiment in the area to help out with the situation, but lovely young Andula isn’t taken by any of them; instead, at the social mixer…

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The Elementary School (Obecna Skola)

BBBBB (out of 5) Jan Sverak’s best film is this delightful memoir of growing up in World War II Czechoslovakia. A little boy lives in his small village with his electrical engineer father and housewife mother, getting into all sorts of trouble at school with his other equally feisty classmates. When their teacher is replaced…

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