Based on memories of village life drawn principally from the hills of Myjava, director Martin aulik’s latest film tells of ‘a country that never was and never will be’. Its sequence of ten stories is clearly linked to the twentieth century history of Slovakia, with the tenth located after the suppression of the Prague Spring. Yet it is the personal and imaginative that Sulik and screenwriter Duaan Duaek have sought out, with the whole united by the permanence of the landscape and the film’s lulling narration. The unforgettable characters, whose lives are played out independently of ‘great events’, the significant objects, the beauty of Martin atrba’s photography, and the power of Iva Bittova’s singing are just some of the ingredients in a multi-layered and deeply felt film.
Slovakia/France/Czech Republic, 2000. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 110 min.

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