Monday, March 17, 2008

slightly depressing Sunday evening movie...

Last night I came home after a very long day (preached three services, had youth group, taught confirmation class about forgiveness/salvation/atonement) and ate all my leftover mashed potatoes and vegetarian brown gravy for dinner. Pretty much the best dinner ever (I make really good mashed potatoes!).

I finally watched the movie I got last week at the library--it's officially overdue so I figured I might as well watch it at least! Kolya is a Czech movie set in the time just before the end of Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia (try typing that a bunch of times...). Kolya is a little Russian boy who is sort of the victim of his mother's ambition and lust. Mom gets into a fake marriage with a Czech cellist (who got tossed out of the Philharmonic for political reasons) who is in financial trouble and agrees to the fake marriage only under duress. Mom runs off, unannounced, to "the West" to be with another lover (married) and to take a job only a couple of days after the wedding, leaving the boy with his grandmother, who ends up dying, leaving Kolya (who speaks no Czech) in the care of his now-stepfather-by-accident (who speaks no Russian). They learn to get along together and to care for one another and the whole thing is terribly sweet even if it is a little depressing (what with the whole communist thing, the we-hate-russians thing on the part of Louka's older mother, the whole poor-because-I-only-play-at-funerals-since-I-got-kicked-out-of-the-orchestra thing, etc). The boy is clearly traumatized--abandoned by his mother and seemingly by his grandmother as well (he's simply told she's asleep). There's a heartbreakingly beautiful scene where Kolya is in the bathtub, using the showerhead as a phone, talking to his baboushka, saying he went to visit but she was asleep and won't she please wake up and come back? He's crying into the "phone" the whole time...telling her what's going on, etc. Adorable, but so sad.

anyway--here's the big spoiler--soviets leave and mom comes back to take the boy with her. He doesn't want to go at first, but he eventually does, and now its stepdad who is forlorn. He gets his orchestra job back, but loses his only real human connection (all his other connections are standard man-crap, using and discarding women). I thought it was the saddest thing ever that the kid ended up being reunited with his mom. I wish he'd stayed with Louka! Alas, no.

The film was beautifully made, wonderfully acted, and generally all-around good. I just cried at the ending. I know this movie is totally old (1996) but I hadn't heard of it in case you haven't either, it's now on my recommended list.

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