Czech-Slovak drama Let it be light The director and screenwriter Marko Škop celebrated its premiere at this year’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was very well received by the public. A film that deals with the topics of today’s Slovakia and tries to react to current topics and open discussions. The film is a Slovak Oscar nominee and was released in Czech cinemas on October 10.

Slovak village in late December. Milan (Milan Ondrík), who works in Germany to support his family, returns home months after Christmas. But things have changed since he last stayed at home. Milan’s son Adam (František Beleš) became a member of Defense, a nationalist-minded paramilitary youth group. In addition, the atmosphere in the village is not pleasant – young Peter, a member of the same group, committed suicide. And Adam is the one everyone in the village points to. But Milan trusts his son that he has done nothing and is not only in conflict with the rest of the village, his own family, but also with himself.

Ondrík plays for his life

The cast is very well chosen and if there is one thing that needs to be praised most in the film, it is only the performances and the work with the actors. Particularly noteworthy is the father of Milan Ondrík, where we can clearly follow the development of the character during the film, from the nice head of the family to the unpleasant “tough guy” who has to protect his family with the body. The performance of debutant František Beleš, who played Adam, is equally good. Despite all the claims, we see something a little guilty in his innocent face that makes us nervous as a viewer.

Go around the bush

The film deals with topics such as nationalism, xenophobia or homophobia, but unfortunately only touches them marginally, which is a shame and a significant minus of this film. One could say that the creators “went around the pulp”. Even more, the whole phenomenon will stand out compared to another Slovak film on a similar topic – Sharp knife It was directed by Teodor Kuhn, who reacted to the violent murder of a student by a group of neo-Nazis and was not only more brutal and descriptive, but also dealt with the subject in more detail. Despite all of this, he excelled in his unmistakable sequence of cuts and stories Let it be light it has a more classic, more conservative chronological narrative structure, which would certainly not be a problem if the script reproduced the betting information at a sufficient distance and not a few minutes before the end of the film in such a rapid order that the viewer could not even process it. The second problem is that the viewer doesn’t see the character of Peter at all and actually has no relation to the character around the story.

Czech Republic vs. Czech Republic Slovakia

As a result, it’s more of a family drama, the cornerstone of which is this nationalist group, but the film is more about interpersonal relationships, some of which suggest something, but are at the end Let it be light it doesn’t actually sound that way, it ends quietly and doesn’t open the discussion. Regarding the direction and the work with the actors, it is nevertheless a good Slovak film, which is close to the documentary and could be spoken about the film of the year with a better dramaturgy. As mentioned in the introduction to the article, Slovakia is currently struggling with the spread of nationalism among young people, and it is good that the authors are trying to work on the issue. Slovakia forms a great contrast to the Czech Republic, where serious current issues are hardly dealt with. While in Slovakia the drama just mentioned reverberated in February Sharp knifeCinemas sold boring in the Czech Republic Women run, And while the Slovak dubbed and subtitled films are broadcast in Slovakia in general, the Slovak language is on Let it be light with Czech subtitles. Maybe we really don’t understand the brothers anymore.

Let it be light / Let it be light
Slovakia / Czech Republic, 2019, 93 min
director: Marko Škop
Scenario: Marko Škop
Actor: Milan Ondrik, Zuzana Konecna, Frantisek Beles, Daniel Fischer, Lubomir Paulovic, Csongor Kassai, Aniko Vargova and others