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Shadow Country [Krajina Ve Stínu]

Bohdan Sláma’s striking epic is a unique account of life in a Czech-Austrian border village from the 1930s-1950s, which saw a community sacrificed to political ideology.

Drama 2020 135 mins Not rated

Director: Bohdan Sláma

The Debate strand is supported by Col and Karen Needham

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Developed over a period of 14 years, Ivan Arsenjev’s screenplay portrays community life through a unique blend of social and individual experiences. Nazi occupation, the expulsion of the Jewish community and post-war revenge on the Germans is rooted in an everyday context as personal relations and marriages suffer the consequences. Shot in his home village, Sláma describes the film as a celebration of female sensibility and sanity. Diviš Marek’s black and white cinematography provides a superb accompaniment to Sláma’s clever direction, with complex long shots that consistently evoke shared experience. Inspired by a case of genocide against the Sudeten Germans, it features compelling performances from Magdaléna Borová as the ‘black widow’ who married a German and Csongor Kassai as the Czech who loses his Jewish wife.

Screened as part of the Debate Strand supported by Col & Karen Needham.