Faith, hope and love at Karlovy Vary
At the ongoing Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), the Hungarian Dolina and Czech Empties [+see also:
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.
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.
Stanislaw Mucha’s Hope is part of the East of the West Competition. After Tom Tykwer’s Heaven [+see also:
film profile] and Danis Tanovic’s L’enfer [+see also:
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.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.