IMAGES DU VIEUX MONDE

By : Dusan Hanak

With : Verona Ralíková, Adam Kura, Jozef Orságh, Anton Micek
Slovaquie, 1972, 74 min
DVD zone 2, N&B,


Not available for sale now


PICTURES OF THE OLD WORLD

By : Dusan Hanak

With : Verona Ralíková, Adam Kura, Jozef Orságh, Anton Micek
Slovaquie, 1972, 74 min
DVD zone 2, N&B,

Original title: OBRAZY STAREHO SVETA

Original Slovakian version with French subtitles

PICTURES OF THE OLD WORLD is an unquestioned masterpiece of European documentary cinema, with existential radicalism that offers a contrast to the shallowness of hundreds of other documentary films showing images from the outskirts of civilization. The outskirts here are a Slovakian town in the Tatra Mountains. Though censored for 17 years, Dusan Hanáks poetic visual essay is not a political or even social film. It goes to far deeper and more fundamental levels of human experience. Inspired by the photographs of Martin Martinek, the films power lies in its unusual portraits of people whose raw visual beauty radiates from their very souls. Some, like the village cosmos aficionado or the disabled old man who climbs stairs on his knees, are hard to forget.

The Slovak director Dusan Hanak was one of Czech cinema's brightest and best talents of the '60s and '70s, but because of censorship this was not manifest until the late '80s. Hanak made an impact on the film world with his auspicious debut 322 (1969). Though banned until 1988, when it was finally released, it earned international acclaim and the Grand Prix award at the Mannheim Film Festival. Hanak's sophomore effort, the documentary IMAGES OF AN ODL WORLD (OBRAZY STAREHO SVETA, completed in 1972), was also not released until 1988 and neither was his 1980 film I LOVE YOU LOVE (JA MILUJEM, TY MILUJES). Hanak's next film, directed in 1976, ROSE TINTED DREAMS (RUZOVE SNY) turned out to be another original work.

DVD release : May the 23rd