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Czech and Slovak
Movie Page

Welcome to the Czech and Slovak Video store. We will be featuring Czech and Slovak Language movies on video cassette and DVD in North American video format, Travel, and Documentary films about the area now known as the Czech and Slovak Republics, Culture and Heritage, and a whole lot more!

New Releases

The Firemen's Ball on DVD

The Firemen's Ball in Czech features Milos Forman, Vaclav Stockel, Josef Svet, and Josef Valnoha. Original released in 1967 the DVD edition was relaesed February 2002.

The DVD features Pan & Scan, Dolby Digital, interview with director Milos Forman; behind-the-scenes look at the transfer process with cinematographer Miloslar Ondricek and Milos Forman.

The DVD has English subtitles.

Firemen's Ball was Czechoslovakian director Milos Forman's final film in his home country; he was scouting locations in Paris when the Russians moved their tanks into Prague in 1968 causing Forman to decide to remain an expatriate.

Because of the supercharged political climate of the era, critics read all sorts of allegory and hidden meanings into the Firemen's Ball. Other critics simply accepted the film as the slapsticky tale of a disastrous small-town celebration in honor of a retiring fire chief, and laughed accordingly.

Loves of a Blonde on DVD

Loves of a Blonde, in Czech, features Milos Forman, Hana Brejchova, Vladimir Pucholt, and Vladimir Mensik.

The DVD features Pan & Scan, Dolby Digital, interview with director Milos Forman nad deleted scene from the movie.

The DVD has English subtitles and was released February 2002.

In this light romantic comedy directed by Milos Forman, Andula (Hana Brejchova) is a worker in a shoe factory who attends a military dance in hopes of finding her true love.

When the dancers all turn out to be aging military veterans, Andula chooses the piano player Milda (Vladimir Pucholt). Vladimir Mensik also appears in this comedy that helped Forman gain an international reputation.

The film received an Academy Award nomination in 1966 for Best Foreign Film.

Slovak Language Films

Shop on Main Street on DVD

A haunting work about the intersecting of the political and personal, developed through the strange yet touching relationship of an elderly Jewish shop owner and a passive carpenter whom the Nazis appoint as her "Aryan controller." Winner of the 1965 Best Foreign Film. With Ida Kaminska and Josef Kroner.

In the small town of Slovakia during World War II, the local Nazi party allows Tono to take over the ownership of an unprofitable button shop. It is run by Rosalie, a deaf elderly woman who barely seems aware that there is a war going on. Tono works as Rosalie's assistant and they develop a friendship. When the deportations to the concentration camps take place, Rosalie is somehow overlooked. Against the warnings of his wife, Tono protects Rosalie from the next roundup, but not without tragic consequences.

English subtitles.

Czech Language Films

Divided We Fall on DVD

A man and a woman battle with deceit and infidelity as they struggle to survive Hitler's fascist regime in this period drama. Marie and Josef Cizek (Anna Siskova and Boleslav Polivka) are a couple living in a small Czechoslovakian village during the Nazi occupation of World War II.

Marie and Josef's marriage is showing signs of strain as a result of the political tensions surrounding them, as well as frustrations over their inability to have children due to Josef's sterility. When a neighboring Jewish family is deported and sent to Theresenstadt, their teenage son David (Csongor Kassai) manages to escape, and the Cizeks warily agree to hide him in their home.

An acquaintance of the couple, Horst Prohazka (Jaroslav Dusek), has become a Nazi collaborator and a minor local functionary with the party; he's never made a secret of his interest in Marie, and he now uses his new authority to pay a number of uninvited visits to the Cizeks' modest home. Marie and Josef begin to suspect that Horst knows they're hiding David, so when Horst asks the couple to board a Nazi clerk (Martin Huba) in their spare bedroom, they have to quickly fabricate a plausible excuse to keep him away. Marie tells Horst they need the spare room as a nursery, because they will soon be expecting a baby.

Now, in order to make the lie real, Marie must convince David to impregnate her; this will keep the Nazis at bay and allow her to have the baby she's wanted, but it drives an even deeper wedge between herself and Josef. Musime Si Pomahat received its North American premiere at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival.

English subtitles.

Also be sure to check out Closely Watched Trains on DVD

Religious

Chants of Orthodox Easter on DVD

This DVD presents a Russian Orthodox Easter service.

The St. Petersburg Choir performs music from various genres and centuries, which reflect the diverse composers of orthodox chants.

Included in the program are religious pieces by anonymous artists, as well as works by Vedel, Bortnyansky, Chaikovsky, Arkhangelsky, Balakirev, Chesnokov, Rachmaninov, and Sviridov.

Hymns on the DVD include Strastnog Sedmtsi, Da ispravitsa moliva moja, Voskresenije Tvoji, Christos Voskrese, Voskresenija Djen, Angel Vopijasje, Stichiry, Veroejoe, Tebje Pajom, Tebje Boga Chvalim, and more.

Ukrainian Language Films

Zemlya on DVD

Zemlya (Earth), the 1930 silent film classic is now available on DVD with English subtitles.

Earth (Zemlya) is the second and best of director Alexander Dovshenko's "Ukraine trilogy" (the first film was Arsenal and the last Ivan).

The story tells of a group of farmers in a Ukranian village, who unite to purchase a tractor. The leader of the peasants is later killed by a kulak, or landowner, who dislikes any form of united front that might pose a threat to his long-established authority.

The events fade into memory, but the long-ranging effects of the peasant "revolt"--like the Earth itself--last forever.

Often voted one of the ten best films of all time, Earth takes some getting used to, especially by audiences geared to popular entertainment. Those willing to stay with the film throughout its full 70 minutes will be privy to one of filmdom's most beautifully photographed paeans to the eternal endurance of Nature.

The DVD also includes a reconstuction from stills, script, and notes of the 1937 film, Bezhin Meadow.

The film Bezhin Meadow by Sergei Eisenstein was banned by the Stalin regime and the only remaining copy was destroyed in a German attack during World War II.

Featured Films

Faust on DVD

This European fantasy features excellent and surprisingly imaginative clay animation combined with live-action to tell the story of a man who sells his soul to Satan without the benefit of a lawyer.

Initially, Faust does not rise to the bait presented by Mephistopheles' assistants who encode their offers in commuter-maps handed out at a Prague subway exit.

Instead he accidently calls Mephistopheles himself. With the Devil's favorite minion, Faust agrees to sell his soul in exchange for 24 pleasure-filled years. The bargain is sealed, but Faust doesn't get what he bargained for. First he is turned into an actor, then he is turned into a puppet.

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