Praha Ocima (1999)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Urban Drama  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - Czechia   |  
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Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin

French producer Joel Farges got together with Czech producer/director Artemio Benki and four other young Czech filmmakers to contribute to a series of 20-minute episodes about love in the magical city of Prague at the end of the millennium. Praha ocima was inspired by episode films about cities, such as New York Stories by Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen; but most of all by Six in Paris made by Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard, and others. Not all of the five directors of the film come from Prague and their styles are certainly diverse. But they all have an affinity with the city, which is a meeting place of many cultures. Artemio Benki's Riziko (Dive), about a French couple whose relationship ends because, in Prague, she falls in love with a Czech, is narrated in a poetic style. Martin Sulik's Obrazky z vyletu (Pictures from a Trip) narrates the tribulations of a Slovak mother, an aging music teacher who has to accept her daughter's way of life in Prague. Petr Vaclav's bitter but nonetheless romantic Vikend V Praze (Weekend in Prague) is about a Chinese student visiting the city who realizes that her relationship with her French lover is over. Michaela Pavlatova's Absolutni Laska (Absolute Love) re-enacts the affair of two ex-lovers. Vladimir Michalek's Karty jsou Rozdany (The Cards are Dealt) is the bizarre story of a reporter who gets depressed every time he goes to a bar but cannot stop going. The common themes of the stories are the complications of love affairs, tragi-comic barriers to communication, the ingenious ways lovers bridge distances and generally the strange behavior of couples in love. Through the theme of love, Praha ocima also reflects the general welfare of the city's inhabitants. The film was screened at the 1999 Rotterdam International Film Festival.