Films: The House

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The House  {Dom}

The House

Slovak Republic, 2011, 97 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Czech Republic
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Family Issues, Social Issues
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Czech English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Zuzana Liova
Producer: Michal Kollár, Viktor Taus
Editor: Anna Johnson Ryndova
Screenwriter: Zuzana Liová
Cinematographer: Jan Baset Stritezsky, Juraj Chlpik
Principal Cast: Judit Bárdos, Miroslav Krobot, Marián Mitas, Tatjana Medvecká, Lucia Jasková, Marek Gelberg

The stubborn patriarch in Zuzana Liová's satirically laced drama about the bonds of family and the rebellious urges of the young is a well-meaning curmudgeon named Imrich (Miroslav Krobot). He merely endures his soul-killing job in a small-town Slovakian bottling plant; his fond dream is to build a modest house for each of his two daughters on the small plot of land the family owns.

When the older daughter marries a man Imrich disapproves of, the grim father concentrates on his homemaking project for the younger girl, Eva (Judit Bárdos). Predictably, she wants nothing to do with the idea. Free-spirited Eva means to flee her homeland altogether and resettle in glamorous London.

A Slovakia/Czech Republic coproduction, this impressive directorial debut gives Western audiences a rare glimpse of life in rural, post-Soviet Eastern Europe, and it makes subtle comments about the unfamiliar quandaries of property ownership and the emergence of a new middle class in that part of the world. But the film's conflicts are universal—stability versus personal freedom, domestic security versus the lure of the unknown. When Eva, who's only a teenager, has an affair with her married English teacher, more sparks fly. The long-suffering wife and mother (Tat'jana Medvecká) may be the only sane voice in the family—while Krobot, as the crusty father, is simultaneously a pain in the neck and a joy to behold. The leading man is a film director in his own right, and the dramatic energy he brings to young Liová's first effort carries the day.

In Cooperation with Bohemian Productions

(Unsubtitled trailer)

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