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by Leila Butcher | November 30th, 2001

Dark Blue World [Tmavomodry svet]

European premiere - Tuesday 13th November, 2001
Regus London Film Festival
Odeon West End

Director: Jan Sverak
Producer: Eric Abraham and Jan Sverak
Certificate: 15
Distributor: Columbia Tristar
Running time: 114 minutes
Cast: Ondrej Vetchy, Krystof Hadek, Charles Dance, Tara Fitzgerald

Jan Sverak's follow up to Kolya, for which he won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1996, has a lot to live up to. Many critics are calling it a messy mix of Hollywood and foreign art film and a desperate grab for Oscar number two. That may be so, but at the European premiere shown during the Regus London Film Festival, the 300+ audience certainly gave a positive response.

The film is beautifully shot in the Czech Republic and depicts two Czechoslovakian pilots, Franta and Karel, expelled from their airfield during the Nazi occupation in WWII. The two friends, played wonderfully by Ondrej Vetchy and newcomer Krystof Hadek, head to England and join the RAF. The age-old story of foreigners in a new land - learning the customs, discovering the women - is interwoven with a view of after the war where Franta reminisces about his time in England from his prison hospital bed.

Dark Blue World's message is that of the strength of friendships built in times of struggle, that fear and courage can become blurred and self-sacrifice seem logical, pertinent even. The story peaks but never wanes and the love stories are lyrically thread between the scenes of war and camaraderie.

Heartstrings are most definitely pulled in this epic but the fantastic photography mixed with a touching story line make for a most enjoyable film


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