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Boston University

Publication Date

Fall 2004

Program Name

Czech Republic: Arts, Community, and Transition


Despite a career spanning five decades and numerous different sociopolitical atmospheres, Věra Chytilová’s films present a remarkably consistent outlook on contemporary life. This paper traces the defining characteristics of Chytilová’s work: her strong moralistic criticisms of contemporary society, her motif of paradise, which establishes a potent symbolic basis for said moral criticisms, and her relentless pursuit of new forms and desire to experiment with film language. This final point is also inextricably linked to her moral stance, as the bulk of her work was produced under the authority of a Communist regime that frowned severely upon work of an avant-garde or experimental nature. Indeed, all three of these aspects are intricately interconnected in Chytilová’s films, serving the director in her pursuit of that rarest of commodities in both communist and capitalist countries: the truth.


Film and Media Studies


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