Archive of films Spoor / Pokot
Poland / Germany / Czech Republic / Sweden / Slovak Republic
2017, 128 min
Section: Czech Films 2016–2017
The desolate Czech-Polish border region becomes a blood-stained battleground in a stand-off between animal-lover Janina Duszejko and a group of callous gamekeepers. Mysterious disappearances and bizarre deaths, however, might convince the local community that Nature can’t be abused indefinitely. Agnieszka Holland’s film successfully defies all genre classifications.
Covered with dense forest, the Czech-Polish border region might at first seem like a place where man and nature thrive in harmony. In Agnieszka Holland’s genre-defying film, however, the desolate landscape is quite the opposite, a battleground where two world views come into conflict. The enterprising, eccentric Janina Duszejko (Agnieszka Mandat) loves animals and is highly critical of the hunting and poaching that goes on both in and out of season. Duszejko believes that killing animals is tantamount to murder. Yet the quirky woman has her opponents – the gamekeepers, whose ranks include local dignitaries, police officers and a priest. When mysterious disappearances and bizarre deaths start to occur in the vicinity, it looks as if Nature herself is taking her revenge. Insurrection comes from unexpected quarters – and things become as perilous as the corrupt system is cynical. The structure of this thriller is equally elusive, diluting the tension with malicious black humour. The film brought the director the Alfred Bauer Prize for artistic merit at this year’s Berlinale.
About the director
Agnieszka Holland (b. 1948, Warsaw) is one of the most admired filmmakers of our time; to date she has received three Oscar nominations. She studied at Prague’s FAMU in the late 1960s and experienced the atmosphere of the Prague Spring. She worked closely with Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, with the latter’s influence reflected in her emphasis on vivid artistic expression, the tragic conception of her heroes, and in the ethos of her films. The theme of the unequal struggle of the individual against external oppression and also with his or her own inner demons threads its way through her work. After emigrating from Poland she came up with films such as Angry Harvest (1984), To Kill a Priest (1988), and the celebrated war drama Europa, Europa (1989). Holland shoots in the USA, Poland and the Czech Republic; highlights of her filmography include the biographical dramas Total Eclipse (1995) and Copying Beethoven (2005), and the award-winning HBO miniseries “Burning Bush” (2013).
About the film
|Section:||Czech Films 2016–2017|
|Screenplay:||O. Tokarczuk, A. Holland na motivy románu Svůj vůz i pluh vez přes kosti mrtvých / based on the novel Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk|
|Dir. of Photography:||Jolanta Dylewska, Rafał Paradowski|
|Art Director:||Joanna Macha|
|Producer:||Krzysztof Zanussi, Janusz Wąchała|
|Production:||TOR Film Production|
|Coproduction:||Heimatfilm, Nutprodukce, Chimney, Nutprodukcia, Česká televize|
|Cast:||A. Mandat, W. Zborowski, M. Krobot, J. Gierszał, P. Volny|
|Sales:||Beta Cinema GmbH|
Film Director, Actor
Pavla Janoušková Kubečková
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