It’s a cutting critique of indulgent liberal parenting and privilege, particularly when the parents defend their position via Skype while semi-naked on their yacht, after the revelation that their son has been skipping school for weeks. As the narrative contorts, Otto is shipwrecked on a desert island and the family’s own future seems linked to his gripping survival, aided in no small part by Flek and Perth’s uncannily expressive performance. Read our full review >>
Hers is a bleak worldview that chimes with the movie’s slow march towards the noose. She’s told, after an attempt to take her own life in the film’s opening moments, that to do such a thing take a strong will – hers proves to be ironclad. The destination is the only thing that’s certain in Olszanska’s turn; she’s gangly and taciturn, a victim and purveyor of hostility, a lover and loather in equal measure. The enigma is what makes her so riveting and if there’s a flaw, it’s that the screenplay feels the need to backfill motivation with a concluding explanatory monologue. Read our full review >>
There are a few moments of visual invention when the protagonist Tono (Josef Kroner) tries to drink away the guilt he feels over being made Aryan Controller of the haberdashery of Jewish widow, Mrs. Lautmannova (Ida Kaminska). However, this is more of a precursor to the Czech New Wave rather than an example of it. Kadar and Klos instead craft a devastating drama that works as an accumulation of quiet moments of surrender and inaction. Read our full review >>
Made in Prague 2016 runs from 5 November – 2 December – for further programme and booking information visit the Czech Centre website here.
Ben Nicholson| @BRNicholson