A Step into the Dark steps into the Oscar race
by Martin Kudláč
- Slovakia is sending Miloslav Luther’s film to compete at the Academy Awards
Veteran Slovak filmmaker Miloslav Luther, who was behind Mosquitoes’ Tango, A Path across the Danube and Mahuliena, the Golden Maid, premiered his latest feature, A Step into the Dark, in June. Now, it has been selected by the Slovak Film and Television Academy as Slovakia’s submission for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. The film had its international premiere at the recent Montreal World Film Festival in the non-competitive Focus on World Cinema section. This is Luther’s second nomination, as his film Angel of Mercy was sent to represent Slovakia at the Oscars in 1994.
The Slovak Academy was choosing from among a batch of 14 films, featuring a prevalence of documentaries, such as the internationally acclaimed triptych on unconventional terrorists, Velvet Terrorists [+see also:
film profile]; the domestic box-office hit 38, portraying Slovak hockey legend Pavol Demitra; a documentary mapping out the pitfalls of making horror films, First Slovak Horror; and The Edge – 4 Films About Marek Brezovský. Among the fiction features were the commercially successful The Candidate [+see also:
film profile], omnibus film Slovakia 2.0 and the recently premiered drama by Zdeněk Jiráský, In Silence, which recounts the fates of five Jewish musicians who Nazism tried to erase from existence.
A Step into the Dark is based on a book by Slovak writer Alfonz Bednár and follows Martin Dubovský, a doctor haunted by his bloody past as a guerrilla commander during World War II, as he also tries to come to terms with it through a stormy extra-marital affair at the beginning of the communist era. “In the past, just like today, everybody was the architect of his own fate,” Luther comments, “the architect of the light and dark corridors of his own conscience. It is full of love, disappointment, happiness, suffering, kindness, cruelty, nobility, fallacy, heroism, treachery… Conscience is the only thing that accompanies us throughout our lives, whether we want it to or not. I believe that our rich, almost novel-like story will offer dedicated viewers a mosaic of what he experiences.”