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Stories with a continuation from Helena Trestikova


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ST. PETERSBURG. At the festival «Message to Man» a retrospective of the films of the Czech documentalist Helena Trestikova began.

For 40 years, after the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, Helena Trestikova has shot more than 50 films. Many of them received recognition in the native land of the director and beyond. In the treasury of Trestikova’s awards there is also Prix Arte («European Oscar»), received in 2008 for the band Rene.

She studied at the famous faculty of FAMU, which is among the top ten best film schools in the world, on the department of documentary. It is non-feature films that determine the face of modern Czech cinema. Although in the early 70’s little reminiscent of his fantastic rise, when one after another on the screen came the masterpieces of Foreman, Chitilova, Hertz, Jakubisko, Menzel, Kahini. The events of 1968, which postponed for many years the democratic transformations within the country, put an end to the history of the «Czech new wave» (Ceska nova vlna). Return to the roots began only after the «velvet revolution».

The decision to enter the Prague Academy Helena took after dating in 1968 with a student working on a film about political prisoners. After graduation at FAMU in 1975, Helena Trestikova tried her hand at drama. Later closely engaged in directing. In 2007, there was a short «hike in politics.» As a minister of culture, the country was delayed for only two weeks, after which she resigned her burdensome powers.

From the very first works, the director preferred the style of the documentary chronicle. If we talk about the analogues of films-chronicles in other countries, first of all it is worth recalling the British project Up Series, in which 14 children from different strata of society took part. The first season is Seven Up! - started in 1964. The 8th series - 56 Up - was released in May 2012. The technique of monitoring heroes for many years has been used in the documentary series «Born in the USSR». Also a British project, but with the participation of an international team, which included director Sergei Miroshnichenko, cameraman Vyacheslav Sachkov, composer Ilya Demutsky. Filming continued from 1991 to 2012. In 2011, Miroshnichenko shared his plans to continue work on the cycle of new series.

Helena Trestikova, like her associates, managed to realize the dream of Andrei Tarkovsky - to show the life of a person throughout its entire length. In retrospect, which is demonstrated in the framework of the «Message to the Man» festival in St. Petersburg, as well as in the Moscow cinema «October», several of her works take part. The Russian premiere of the «Family History» saga (Strnadovi) of 2017 has just been held. Her characters are the wives of Strnad, Ivan and Vaclav, who celebrated the 35th anniversary of their life together. They appear on the screen as young, happy, full of hopes and plans. The birth of five children, the complexity of their upbringing, the instability of the family business, domestic routine at some point lead to a breakdown of the fragile psyche of Ivana. Continuation of filming for a long time was in jeopardy.

In the center of the narrative of the «Private Universe» (Soukromy vesmir) 2012 - the Kettner family. Their 37-year-old family chronicle unfolding against the backdrop of different periods of the country’s life. It is also full of drama, loss and gain. The hero of «Rene» for 20 years of shooting is transformed in the eyes of the viewer from a charming and intelligent 17-year-old guy into a recidivist who only leaves the place of confinement for a short time. Progressive multiple sclerosis is another test that fell on the roulette of his fate.

Heavy drugs were taken from the heroine of another story with a sequel, the film Katka (Katka), children, health, youth, beauty. Dreams of happiness can not withstand murderous cravings. In reality - degradation, trade in one’s own body, theft and begging.

One more fresh work is presented in retrospect - Zkaza krasou («Doomed Beauty»), which is dedicated to the Czech film actress Lida Baarova. The novel with Goebbels led to the collapse of the career of the star of the 30’s, a tragedy for her family, a beggarly old age, brightened up with abundant libations.


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