Private Century [DVD]

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Special Features

  • Living History: Behind Private Century, a Facets Cine-Notes booklet


Daddy and Lili Marlene
A word of explanation may be helpful for the unacquainted: Czech director Jan Sikl's 2005 documentary King of Velichovky told the extraordinary life story of a farmer named Karel Saisser, who lived in the town of Velichovky on the border between Germany and Czechoslovakia, during the 1930s and '40s. Life went beautifully for Karel and his family -- with financial prosperity, a satisfying marriage, three happily wed daughters, and general contentment -- until his family suddenly got deported to Germany at the end of World War II. The sequel, Daddy and Lili Marlene, continues the Velichovky story, as narrated by the family's daughter, Eva -- who rhapsodizes on her memories of the family farmstead and fond recollections of her parents. The bulk of this particular film charts the relationships in the family itself -- such as the experiences of the eldest daughter, Lili, who married an affluent doctor from Prague but later grew apart from the clan, charmed as she was by the "sweet life" in Czechoslovakia's capital city. Eva also discusses her lingering attachment to Karel, whom she referred to only as Daddy, and she discusses the turmoil and strife that Iron Curtain-era Communism brought to the family's world. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Ruské oblácky koure
Low Level Flight
Filmmaker Jan Sikl explores the tumultuous relationship between a Czech Air Force officer and the Russian woman who loved him though the family's own archival materials in this unusual documentary. Vaclav was an ambitious Czech fighter pilot who met and married a beautiful Russian émigré name Tana. Tana was fascinated by her confident, headstrong husband, and when his assignments took him to the USSR, she willingly followed him there. However, Vaclav was also an alcoholic who was living a secret life with another wife and children, and Tana's love for him could not overcome her frustration and betrayal. Tana's daughter provided Sikl with photographs and home movies that documented both the good and bad sides of Tana and Vaclav's relationship, and she narrates Low Level Flight, the story of their lives together. Low Level Flight was the final episode of A Private Century, a series of eight documentaries fashioned by Sikl from the personal archives of eight Czech families. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Mávnutí motylích krídel
Meet You in Denver
The Statuary of Granddad Vinda
Král Velichovek
With Kisses From Your Love
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