Section: Feature Film Competition


The Word

Beata Parkanová
CZ/SK , 2022, 94 Min

A man’s struggle with conscience. After the Prague Spring was crushed in 1968, communist functionaries make notary Václav the target of almost persistent psychological terror in a provincial Czech town. He is to join the party or face consequences. His wife Vera supports him in his fight for moral survival. A finely observed, superbly performed marital drama.

Notary Václav leads a happy life together with his impulsive wife Vera, who is as resolute as she is loyal, and their two children. He advises customers on questions of inheritance and has an ability to defuse conflicts with his level-headed manner. And yet, in the summer of 1968, even in the Czech provinces the authoritarian conquerors of Dubček's failed "socialism with a human face" now sense they have the upper hand. The local party bigwigs want to force Václav into the party, and thus the legal professional has to fear for his job. By concentrating fully on the psyche of its protagonist, this drama depicts how the political pressure of real socialism could affect the life of a morally upright citizen: The hero's conflicts are reflected in his face, which the camera captures in frequent close-ups. For his role as Václav, Martin Finger quite rightly received the award for best actor at this year's Karlovy Vary Film Festival, whilst director Beata Parkanová succeeds in creating a coherent portrayal of marriage and social norms at a time when gender roles were clearly defined and the family became a place of retreat against external pressure. The love between Václav and Vera proves to be a solid bond; despite all their differences of character.

Text: Kira Taszman

English: Peter Rickerby

Stadthalle: Original version with English subtitles + German simultaneous translation.

Weltspiegel Saal 2: Original version with English subtitles

Beata Parkanová
Tomáš Jurícek
Lukáš Moudrý
Alois Fišárek
Jan Vlcek
Jan. P. Muchov
Martin Finger: Václav Vojír, Gabriela Mikulková: Vera Vojírová
Vojtech Fric, Ondrej Kulhánek, Maroš Hecko, Peter Veverka, Ondrej Zach
love.FRAME, rst.FRAME
Beata Parkanová

Beata Parkanová - Beata Parkanová is a screenwriter, director and book author. She graduated from FAMU in 2015. Before starting a film career, she wrote several books, including ones for children. Her first feature film was Chvilky (2018), which screened in the East of the West competition at KVIFF 2018.

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