WARD NO. 6 (Karen Shakhnazarov, Aleksandr Gornovsky, 2009)

An imaginative updating of Anton Chekhov’s 1892 story, Palata No. 6, co-directed by Karen Shakhnazarov and Aleksandr Gornovsky, begins and ends with documentary interviews of actual residents of a mental health facility. Indeed, throughout, such interviews are mixed with faux-interviews of fictional characters, including fictional patients, from some of whom we hear bits and pieces […]

DEATH OF THE BEAUTIFUL DEER (Karel Kachyňa, 1986)

Periodically, the assmiliated Jewish protagonist (Karel Hermánek, excellent), married and the father of three young boys, espies out in the country a group of lovely, graceful, dreamlike deer, and his soul is transported to a serene, wondrous place. When a dog takes after the deer, the dream vanishes, and anxiety and disgust seize the man’s […]