Thursday, January 24, 2008

Euro 2008 Film Festival: Group A, Czech Republic

Film Festival Rules & Guidelines

Film selected (Year, Director): Zelary (2003, Ondrej Trojan)
Rating: 7.5/10
Rules compliance: All rules met

Relevance to Soccer: Trust and understanding

Imagine the scene. A soccer player plays a ball into open space. But no player runs onto the pass and the ball rolls harmlessly wide. The fans laugh at the player who played the ball. As the tv camera focuses on the player, we see either a bemused or an angry look on his face. He played the ball into an empty space excepting his team-mate to run onto it. But the team-mate was not on the same wavelength. The tv commentators inform their viewers that this failed pass was due to a lack of understanding between the two soccer players, because the player's team-mate is a new addition to the team and did not have enough time to settle down. Eventually, when the new soccer player settles down, he will be better able to anticipate his team-mate's passes and make the appropriate runs. Well, atleast that is the idea. While some players settle in with no problems at their new teams, there are some players who never really adapt to their new team and understand how the team plays.

The core of the World War II Czech film Zelary involves understanding between two strangers. Eliska is member of the Czech resistance and seeks to help out her members with a mission.

But things go wrong and she ends up on the Gestapo's list. She has no choice but to leave Prague. The head of the resistance decides to send Eliska with Joza to a small isolated village (Zelary) in order to save her.

Initially, Eliska detests Joza and cannot stand him and his habits. The two eventually come to understand each other and realize the importance of having the other in their lives.

Even though the story is very predictable, there are some beautiful visuals which capture the countryside perfectly. While watching the vast empty spaces, all I kept thinking was that a soccer ball would look great in the background. But alas, World War II was no time for soccer.

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