14 February 2009 | clenchedbrain
Wonderful bucolic vision
As there has only been one comment: a rather excellent and evocative one by (I'm presuming) a non-native English speaker, I thought I'd add another. This is possibly the kind of film that is unlikely to provoke heated debate or rabid hatred, although I can easily imagine it being dearly loved by many Czechs. I'm not sure if it is possible for a film to be more countrified - from the amazing misty woods surrounding the characters, to the hermit sharing a cocktail in a bowl with one of his goats, this is surely as pure a vision of country life as has ever been committed to celluloid. In fact, the only real plot involves which of two neighbouring villages has the rights to feast on the meat of a wild boar, which is shot in the communal school classroom after a somewhat wacky hunt. That the children seem completely untroubled by this only highlights the rusticity of the whole affair; and most of the adult males appear to be hunters. The villages agree to have a joint feast, but petty squabbling continues throughout: yet no serious violence occurs, or even threatens to. In the end everyone seems united by their shared character and way of life (and possibly some serious drinking). If you require strong, driving plot; and clearly delineated characters, then this may not be the film for you. This is mostly a sequence of set pieces, often slightly surreal and even whimsical. But it is very charming, and quite beautiful. There are some good laughs throughout, too. My favourite gag is when the bargain hunter fellow breaks out his super-8 camera to film the revellers: whoever he points it at stops and poses as if it were a stills camera. This is a lovely film, imbued with the directors genuine affection for the characters he is portraying, and his obvious love for the gorgeous woodland setting.