Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Venkovský ucitel (The Country Teacher)

Very nice crafted movie by Bohdan Sláma with good cinematography, a great story telling about loneliness, the need to be with someone and like they say, at the end everyone needs someone. The story is told with a glorious slow pace and sort of deadpan performances that make each character breakdown more dramatic.

Writen by Sláma the story main character is a city homosexual teacher that escapes to a small village to teach at the local school. Since the beginning you can tell that he’s troubled and eventually you'll find that his main problem is the lack of self-acceptance as a gay man. So, you can say that the story is also about finding acceptance of who you are. He finds company and establishes a friendship with a widowed woman and her son. The drama revolves around these three characters and what each has to learn to be less lonely and more happy with who they are.

Even if there is a gay main character I do not believe this is a gay movie. This is the kind of European movies that have gay characters and their story is essential to the movie, but there are other human emotions that are as, if not more, important as the fact of being gay. Czech cinema has quite good movies with lesbian or gay characters, but the movies are not only of LGTB interest as they are really good human dramas. Just remember great Pusinky in the lesbian interest genre. That countries from East Europe do very good movies with lesbian and gay characters is quite outstanding for me.

I found this drama interesting to watch especially because the great performances by the lead characters, the slowish pace and good tech specs; so, it’s no surprise that this film has many honors like being in the official selection of the 5th Venice Days at the 2008 Venice fest and winning many awards around the world including Best Actress to Zuzana Bydzovska (plays the widowed woman) at the 2008 Stockholm fest and a Czech Lion at the 2009 Czech Awards; also the Queer Cinema Award at the 2008 Reykjavik fest and the Audience Award at the 2008 Cottbus fest.

I highly recommend this movie to those that enjoy good East Europe cinema with excellent performances and good production values. But I also recommend it to those that enjoy the gay interest genre.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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