Czech Films 2017–2018 

  • Dukla 61 Dukla 61 / Dukla 61
    Directed by: David Ondříček
    Czech Republic, 2018, 150 min

    David Ondříček’s TV film looks back at one of the country's greatest mining tragedies. In 1961 a fire broke out in the Dukla mine near Ostrava and killed 108 miners. This rousing family drama heads slowly towards a needless and incomprehensible disaster that resonates in the harsh region to this very day.

  • Insect Hmyz / Hmyz
    Directed by: Jan Švankmajer
    Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, 2018, 97 min

    Can the creative process be more important than the work itself? Director Jan Švankmajer follows a troupe of nonprofessional actors rehearsing for a theatre performance in a small town while, at the same time, inviting the viewer onto the stage as well, where surrealism’s legacy is interwoven with the magic of human dreams, and where most of the questions that arise don’t have rational answers.

  • The Interpreter Tlumočník / Tlumočník
    Directed by: Martin Šulík
    Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Austria, 2018, 113 min

    Who suffers more, the son of the victim or the son of the murderer? Presented at the Berlinale, Martin Šulík’s coproduction drama follows a journey taken by two dissimilar men who are bound together by the tragedy of the Holocaust. Starring Jiří Menzel and Peter Simonischek, a familiar face from the successful Toni Erdmann.

  • Laika Lajka / Lajka
    Directed by: Aurel Klimt
    Czech Republic, 2017, 88 min

    The real Laika didn’t survive her journey into outer space. In this puppet musical, however, the plucky dog manages to reach a remote planet that man has yet to conquer – for the time being, at any rate. Animator Aurel Klimt looks to the Czech puppet tradition forged by Jiří Trnka to create a tale about the unexpected champions of the Space Race.

  • Markéta Wants Her Bag Markéta chce taštičku / Markéta chce taštičku
    Directed by: Miroslav Janek
    Czech Republic, 2018, 37 min

    Markétka is happy when she can talk, paint, or ride the bus. The 16-year-old girl suffers from Rett syndrome, and thus her mental capacity is that of a two-year-old. Documentarist Miroslav Janek looks once again with empathy at the world of people who are “other” and at those closest to them who are tasked with contemplating their future.

  • Nothing Like Before Nic jako dřív / Nic jako dřív
    Directed by: Klára Tasovská, Lukáš Kokeš
    Czech Republic, 2017, 92 min

    “We got nothing to complain about; other places it’s even worse” – or so goes the standard mantra repeated by teenagers in the border town of Varnsdorf. Employing uncommonly intimate detail, Lukáš Kokeš and Klára Tasovská’s documentary looks into the problems that plague teenagers living on the social fringes – problems often unseen by the rest of the country.

  • Scalamare Scalamare / Scalamare
    Directed by: Jiří Kylián
    Czech Republic, Netherlands, 2017, 11 min

    The memorial to the victims of the First World War in Ancona, Italy, whose stairs have a magnificent view of waves breaking on the Adriatic Sea. A couple returning to the place they honeymooned 40 years earlier. A visually elegant miniature directed by world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián, where words are unnecessary because dance says it all.

  • Short Cut Na krátko / Na krátko
    Directed by: Jakub Šmíd
    Czech Republic, 2018, 107 min

    Eleven-year-old Jakub can’t stand his stepsister or his domineering grandma. To make matters worse he finds out that his workhorse of a mother lied to him about his father, who is certainly not navigating any maritime vessel, as she would have him believe. Family ties are sorely put to the test in Jakub Šmíd’s understated drama, an adaptation of the award-winning novella To Disappear by Petra Soukupová.

  • Universum Brdečka Universum Brdečka / Universum Brdečka
    Directed by: Miroslav Janek
    Czech Republic, 2017, 84 min

    Creative fervour and the genesis of several legendary Czech films are mapped out in this documentary portrayal of a man whose life was defined by his passion for film. Jiří Brdečka became celebrated for his animation works and also for his screenplays written for the likes of Jan Werich and Oldřich Lipský. Documentarist Miroslav Janek allows us a glimpse into the filmmaker’s private world.

  • When the War Comes Až přijde válka / Až přijde válka
    Directed by: Jan Gebert
    Czech Republic, Croatia, 2018, 76 min

    “We’ll become legends of our time,” states one of the members of the Slovak Recruits paramilitary group, which puts young people through inhumane drills and aims to “defend and preserve the nation”. Jan Gebert’s documentary, screened at the Berlinale, observes a youngster with authoritarian inclinations, part of a growing nationalism in unexpected age groups.


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