Film historian Richard Blech is a man qualified to rank the best Slovak films. From 1954-72 he was an editor and film critic for the daily "Smena." Since then he has worked as an editor at the encyclopedia department of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, has been a judge at international film festivals, and has authored most entries in "The Panorama of World Cinematography" (Panoráma svetovy kinematografie - 1964) and the mammoth, 1,055 page "Encyklopédia Filmu - 1993."
Here is his list of must-see Slovak films. (Note: The best way to catch one of these films is to either watch STV late at night or to check the film schedule at Kino Charlies Centrum which periodically shows Slovak films with English subtitles.)
Jánošik (1921)- The first Jánošík film was made by two Slovak-American brothers, Jerry and Dan Siakel. It was a romantic silent film, very similar to the tale of Robin Hood.
Sun in a Net (Slnko v sieti 1962)- A film about the difficult emotions of growing up, directed by Štefan Uher.
Death and The Boxer (Boxer a smrt' 1962)- A powerful drama set in a Nazi concentration camp directed by Peter Solan.
The Millennial Bee (Tisícroéná včela, 1983)- The saga of a Slovak family over three generations, ending with the creation of the first Czechoslovak state after World War I. The best film the famous director Juraj Jakubisko ever made.
Pictures of the Old World (Obrazy starého sveta, 1972) and Paper Heads (Papierové hlavy, 1994)- Two documentaries written by Dušan Hanák and directed by Jakubisko are great character studies of Slovak people. In "Pictures of the Old World," the stories of people on the edge of society, in small villages or in forgotten towns, are brought to life. The film was banned during socialist times, and only made it to the big screen in Slovakia in 1989. "Paper Heads" is a portrait of totalitarian rule in Czechoslovakia that won various international awards.
The Garden (Záhrada, 1994) - Director Martin Šulik is the brightest star in the next generation of Slovak film-makers. A deeply psychological film about innocence and love.
20. Nov 1997 at 0:00