“Karlovy Vary”: films that delve into an anxious present and a sad past

There is a special fun when the critic takes the plane from one city to another to attend a festival held there. A natural pleasure, the components of which take part in a big movie party, watching movies when they are shown for the first time worldwide, meeting filmmakers and friends, and last – but not least – the overwhelming feeling of writing after watching, getting into to pick up on the time set for the submission of all the topics.
This pleasure deviates when the critic wins by watching films of the festival through paid platforms or by private communication or by being a member of critical or journalistic associations, by watching only and in the comfort of his home. All of the above is fun, except for the home screen viewer. No matter how big it is, it is obviously not the size of festival screens, but it is sufficient to ensure the act of watching anyway. This was the case for the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, which ended its fifty-sixth session a few days ago, and which featured a large number of films, including 27 films that had not been shown anywhere else before ( World Premiere).

Crisis scenario
Until the collapse of the communist regime in Eastern Europe, this Czech festival was held once every two years, alternating with the Moscow Film Festival at Big Brother. After the changes, the festival rejected its previous affiliation and turned into an annual festival that is independent and open to all experiences without pre-existing ideologies. Currently it is in the second row of interest on the side of Locarno (Switzerland), San Sebastian (Spain), London (UK) and Sundance (USA). While the Venice, Berlin and Cannes festivals occupy the first row as usual.
The course included films dating back to the dark past of that communist era, and others that spoke about current social conditions (which in turn are dark) in more than one place around the world. The film was the first prize winner among them. Watching it, however, is surprising, as it is not the good work one would expect from a first-prize film.
Its title, “Summer With Hope,” was achieved by the Iranian filmmaker who migrated to Canada, Sadaf Farooqi. To make the film, she returned to Iran and was able to record impressions and memories centered on the oppression to which the younger generation is subjected, at least at the level of the family.
Unlike recent Iranian themes, this film is not about life at the bottom. His main character is Leila (performed by Laila Rashidi), who has a luxury home in an area far from Tehran, which is apparently a haven for the wealthy. like her husband. Her divorce deal is set to take effect soon, but before that she – along with her brother – has to resolve a dilemma caused by the fact that the swimming coach has been appointed to train a couple of young people to compete in a national competition. writes, does not have the necessary qualifications, and in spite of this he is determined to do the work agreed upon.
Below this line, the director implants small dramas that are indirectly related to the circumstances that push some (like a brigadier) to flee the situation going forward. He drives recklessly and tries to swim in the raging sea, endangering himself. The film varies from its problem to Layla’s problem and from them to other problems, director Farooqi Al-Mizan loses and tells a scenario crammed with more than enough bumps and crises.

– Reflections
Similarly, the Spanish film You Have to Come and See It was awarded to Jonas Troipa, the Grand Jury Prize. A story in about an hour that moves between just three places and revolves around characters staring at the camera at each of them as if to create an interesting style.
At the beginning of the film, there is the scene in which the four main characters are introduced: Susanna and her partner Guillermo, who are expecting their first child, and Elena and her boyfriend Daniel. The first couple invites the second to visit their home in the country. We move to the country with Elena and Daniel after a while to find out Susanna was discharged from the hospital after she lost her baby. The mood begins to change from this moment on and increases with the observation that the couple is not as happy as they expected when they left the city to land.
There is a desire to evoke contemplative aspects of life and its current paths and how nature is a last resort, but this desire remains under a stack of slow notes and dialogues that leave little room for a beautiful silence in the environment presented and then opposed by the film.
Another well-deserved award-winning film is “The Word” by Czech Peeta Bakanova. This drama takes place in the 1960s and the film’s director won the award for best director and the first actor, Martin Finger, best male actor.
This drama is one of those that tended to tell the stories of the distant years when Czechoslovakia was under the rule of the previous regime. As soon as the Soviet Union felt in the summer of 1968 that there was a strong movement to change the situation, it marched on the city of Prague to place it and its official system under the trusteeship.
He does not baptize the “Word” for direct or rhetorical condemnation. An alternative for him is to tell the story of a family of a married couple and their two children, in 1968. They discover that the future does not look as good as they predicted. Crawl on Prague may not really have anything to do with it, but it’s a dark cloud that director Barkanova prefers to put into a personal story first.

– The story of Vaslav
Like “You Must Come See It,” “The Word” begins with a lengthy (about ten minutes) internal scene. In contrast, it is more diversified in the shots, and the main actor in it holds the helm and establishes himself and the story together. He is a notary who is trying to solve a couple’s case and a stuck legacy. In his office – Two men who came to him without an appointment and took their seats without an invitation and then revealed the reason for the visit: they were asked by the leadership of the Communist Party to meet the lawyer , his name was Vaslav (Martin Wenger), and encouraged him to join the party. The request is not a matter of whether he wants to join or even an expression of a desire in this regard, but rather an insistence on such accession. They repeat to him that the party is changing and that it is no longer the owner of the iron hand that is known to him. But Vaslav refused, despite the insistence. His argument is that he does not mind joining any political party and that his schedule is full and he will not be able to save the time required to be an active member.
It is before the Soviet invasion that will turn the personal situation upside down. The attentive ancestor of his word and principles was amazed at the occupation of Prague. His wife Vera (Gabriela Mikulkova) moves in the opposite direction. When we first get to know her, we find her a perfect housewife. Decisions belong to her husband and care for him and the children and all matters are all she cares about and with conviction. But the political crisis changed her to the position her husband had previously held.
There are pitfalls in the script in which this movie falls from this point, the transition of a man descending and a woman ascending needed to show a stronger justification. The man has refused to join, and it is behind his back, but events turn him, without sufficient justification, into a man who is afraid, so that his wife owns the leadership.

Return Uncle
Back a little closer to the 1960s, “The Uncle”, by Andrea Mardashes and David Kabash, zigzag to tell a dark, comic story about a family waiting for an absent uncle to come back to make his return four. The return also extends the duration of the film, though it remains interesting to follow from one stage to another.
The events take place in the year 1980 when the Yugoslav state still existed (the film was produced by a Croatian and a Serb). The film begins with a couple and their young son trying to get everything right before the uncle returns from Germany. This preparation includes a lot of instructions that we apparently are not able to put together a lot of scenes. Fortunately, Uncle is not too late after that. He does not arrive on time or at a later time, leaving the family with time to rehearse for a reception. His arrival is the opportunity of the film to turn into something more useful: an encounter between a family living in the past and an uncle who has just returned from a more developed world. Joy becomes tension and tension reveals antagonisms, and soon the uncle seems to be in control even in those few days before returning to where he came from.
Some of what is mentioned in the film is important, such as “The Word.” Politics remains out of the show, but it is in the shadows, on the grounds that the return is more knowledgeable and aware of the differences between how people live under the rule of authority and how they live abroad. But the uncle is not an angel, not even a clean and chaste man. This explanation is in turn suggestive and not clear.
Better than the Japanese movie “A Far Shore” by Masaaki Kudo. Mostly painful because it’s about the story of a woman who was harassed by a man who stole her money and drank with it. She works as an evening attendant, but, like her, she is a night companion and nothing more than that until her husband hits her hard one day, leaves her with a disfigured face and cannot work. After the recovery period, she finds the only way forward for her, and her husband was arrested after another quarrel, is to turn into a “prostitute”. Things go down with an endless learning that moves from evil to worse, and the director intends to promote a social situation that exists in a country that belongs to modernity, and thus talks about the personal and social sides.
The film has been heavy since its inception, but the director’s choices of scenes are not absurd, but rather suggest a new cinematography (this is his second film) that may have a better impact in the next few years.


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