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FESTIVALS Czech Republic

Faith, hope and love at Karlovy Vary

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Faith, hope and love at Karlovy Vary

At the ongoing Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), the Hungarian Dolina and Czech Empties [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, both in competition, and the East of the West film Hope all deal with faith, hope and love.

In Zoltán Kamondi’s Dolina, a Honeymood Films production, Ventuza (Adriano Giannini) travels to the titular village of his childhood in Eastern Europe that is now ruled by mysterious priests. Ventuza is absorbed in an absurd power struggle that defines village life and leaves it stagnant.

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While clearly an allegory about transition with surreal touches, the film struggles to define its exact point of view, leaving the audience to admire the exquisite cinematography and production design that bring Dolina to life in all its fetid putrefaction.

Though set at an empty bottle counter of a Prague supermarket, things are decidedly less bleak in the gentle comedy Empties. Like the Oscar-winning Kolya, it was written by and stars Zdenek Sverák, was directed by his son Jan Sverák and tells the story of an old man in love with life and the ladies. This time around, his wife hopes and prays for her husband’s monogamy – though every bottle seems to come with a nice lady.

The local box office hit was produced by Biograf Jan Svěrák , in co-production with TV Nova and Portobello Pictures, who handle international sales.

Stanislaw Mucha’s Hope is part of the East of the West Competition. After Tom Tykwer’s Heaven [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Danis Tanovic’s L’enfer [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, it is the last of a trilogy written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz and co-conceived by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. In the film, an angelic young man demands an art thief to return a stolen religious painting at whatever cost. Their cat-and-mouse game plays like a thriller with existential overtones and is vintage Piesiewicz.

Hope is sold by The Match Factory and was produced by Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop and Pandora Filmproduktion.

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