Prague Spring -- seems a more than fitting capper to her pretty much brilliant career. I'm not saying it's over, either; after this one, Holland directed the recent remake of Rosemary's Baby for TV. (Are only Polish directors allowed to film the Ira Levin novel?)
Stephan Hulik, the teleplay involves a wide range of characters -- from the student group that initiates the bombings (some of whom are shown below) to the family (above) of the first victim/suicide, Jan Palach; from the government officials who try to tarnish the dead boy as being a dupe of right-wing fascists to the lawyer, a woman, who takes on the case when that family sues the official who slandered their son; from that lawyer's boss, whose daughter is part of the student group, to the lawyer's husband, a doctor who loses his hospital job -- weaving their stories together with credibility and finesse.
Tatiana Pauhofová (above, right) as the lawyer, Jaroslava Pokorná (three photos above, as well as bottom, left) as the mother of Jan Palach, Jan Budar (below) as the doctor/husband, and Martin Huba (at bottom, right) as the official who tries to destroy the reputation of Jan Palach. Everyone is a victim here, but some seem all too eager to betray and profit from that betrayal, while others betray because they want to save their own family. Ms Holland and Mr. Hulik keep a tight rein on the movie's morality; few characters merge totally unscathed.
Martin Struba) and musically (the score is by Antoni Komaza-Lazarkeiwicz) that hangs over the entire film. Instead of a happy ending, we get worse and then worse. While the events shown here happened 45 years ago, there is -- as those who stay for the end credits will learn -- a posthumous bit of upbeat news. That's nice. But it's way too late. It' s also about, as ever, a state congratulating itself for doing now what it didn't have the balls to do then.
Kino Lorber and running 240 minutes, will open in New York City this Wednesday, June 11, at Film Forum. Because of the lengthy running time, the film will be divided into two parts but with only a single admission charge for both. Part One lasts 160 minutes, Part Two only 80 minutes. If you do not wish to see the film at consecutive screenings, a voucher will be distributed to those patrons who prefer to come back later to see Part Two. In the weeks to come, it will shown in several other cities, too. Click here then scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates.
FANDOR on the same day as its theatrical release, Wednesday, June 11.