Daddy and Lili Marlene (2005)

Run Time - 52 min.  |  
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A word of explanation may be helpful for the unacquainted: Czech director Jan Sikl's 2005 documentary King of Velichovky told the extraordinary life story of a farmer named Karel Saisser, who lived in the town of Velichovky on the border between Germany and Czechoslovakia, during the 1930s and '40s. Life went beautifully for Karel and his family -- with financial prosperity, a satisfying marriage, three happily wed daughters, and general contentment -- until his family suddenly got deported to Germany at the end of World War II. The sequel, Daddy and Lili Marlene, continues the Velichovky story, as narrated by the family's daughter, Eva -- who rhapsodizes on her memories of the family farmstead and fond recollections of her parents. The bulk of this particular film charts the relationships in the family itself -- such as the experiences of the eldest daughter, Lili, who married an affluent doctor from Prague but later grew apart from the clan, charmed as she was by the "sweet life" in Czechoslovakia's capital city. Eva also discusses her lingering attachment to Karel, whom she referred to only as Daddy, and she discusses the turmoil and strife that Iron Curtain-era Communism brought to the family's world.