Archive of films Obscurantist and His Lineage or The Pyramids' Tearful Valleys / Tmář a jeho rod aneb Slzavé údolí pyramid
Czech Republic / Slovak Republic
2011, 199 min
Section: Documentary Films - Out of Competition
Karel Vachek’s latest documentary essay deals with the fine line between an internal belief in God and institutionalized religion. At the same time it brings up the need for a healthy sense of skepticism and the benefit of not believing in anything that advertises itself as certain.
Karel Vachek’s latest documentary essay deals with the fine line between an internal belief in God and institutionalized religion. At the same time it brings up the need for a healthy sense of skepticism and the benefit of not believing in anything that advertises itself as certain. The filmmaker sets out for the USA, Japan, Great Britain, Poland, and the Balkans in his sometimes amusing investigation of spiritual substitutes, such as esoteric "teachings” or various fraudulent and magical practices, to which we sometimes fall prey due to our natural religious cravings. In addition to a Czech "prefab” family, who describe the carryings-on of their poltergeist, well-known mystery buffs appear in the film: Erich von Däniken, Raymond Moody Jr., and Ivan Mackerl. Director Vachek, however, uses no irony or ridicule, and although his position of skepticism in the film is clear, he is quick to point out surprising correspondences between the newest scientific hypotheses and the most ancient religious texts.
About the director
Karel Vachek (b. 1940, Tišnov, Czechoslovakia) has headed the documentary film department at Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU) since 2002, where he himself studied feature direction between 1958 and 1963. His graduation documentary Moravian Hellas (1964 – Honorable Mention at the Karlovy Vary IFF) quickly landed him in trouble with the authorities, who banned him from directing. His feature-length documentary on the spring of 1968, Elective Affinities (Grand Prix at the documentary IFF in Karlovy Vary, two main prizes at the Oberhausen IFF), met with the same stiff reception. After five years of immigration he returned home in the mid-1980s. In 1990 he won the Golden Camera award at the Berlinale and two years later he began his loose tetralogy The Little Capitalist. In 2010 his documentaries were presented at Karlovy Vary in the Tribute to Karel Vachek.
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About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Documentary Films - Out of Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Karel Slach|
|Production:||Produkce Radim Procházka|
|Contact:||Produkce Radim Procházka, National Film Archive, FE Agency|
|Distributor:||National Film Archive|
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