Karel Kachyňa (1924–2004) became a central figure of Czech film at the end of the 1950s, a position he held for forty years. With more than fifty features to his name he was one of the industry’s most prolific filmmakers, whose work wended its way through the dogmatism of socialist realism, later reflecting an affinity with the New Wave, and ultimately finding expression in socially-conscious and small-scale dramas. His most compelling movies, in particular, those highly critical of communist ideology, were made in collaboration with screenwriter Jan Procházka (Long Live the Republic, Coach to Vienna, The Nun’s Night, The Ear). Kachyňa was a born storyteller and a master of psychological realism who had an appreciation for high-calibre literary models; he knew how to create convincing characters and always found the ideal cast to play them (Love between the Raindrops, The Doctor’s Coming, Forbidden Dreams, The Cow).
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