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Feb 17, 2015 7:00 PM

In the Shadow

Tuesday Film Club. In the Shadow (Ve stínu), directed by David Ondříček.

Screenig of this film is a part of the multimedia project "Shoah in Us" - more info here

In the Shadow (Ve stínu), directed by David Ondříček, 101 min.
The suspenseful criminal story, which takes place in the 1950s in the former Czechoslovakia, impacts the personal destiny of the characters, as well as their loved ones.

Capitan Hakl (Ivan Trojan) is investigating a robbery in a jewelry store. Under the influence of behind-the-scenes intrigues of the secret police, the normal burglary becomes a political scandal. Under the directive of State Security, Major Zenke (Sebastian Koch), police specialist from the German Democratic Republic, takes over Hakl’s investigation, and under his leadership, the investigation moves in a different direction than that of Hakl’s instinct as an experienced detective. On his own, he continues with the investigation. Can one honest person hold out in the battle with the well-connected network of communist police?  The antagonist is strong and Hakl is soon convinced that he cannot trust anyone or anything. Everyone has his own shadows in his past, his own weaknesses, which enable victims to be made into culprits and culprits made into heroes.

The story of In the Shadow is primarily a suspenseful detective story, which due to the real period connection becomes a timeless meditation about the degree to which an individual can counter the organizational strength of evil proliferated into the government structure. Capitan Hakl is a policeman from the old school – a man, for whom the fight against criminality is more than work and evidence is the only indicator of truth. A simple theft, tens of which he has experience solving, sets off a turn of events, in which the old, good policeman’s methods no longer apply and there are more faces to the truth.

“The Film, In the Shadow, is a film noir. It is a period detective story,“ characterizes the director, David Ondříček, adding that he primarily wanted to make a film with a distinctive visualization reflecting the period atmosphere. In the Shadow was and is for me and all who cooperated on it, a great challenge. We put everything that we had at the time into this film, and I am convinced that it is evident in the film. Otherwise, in terms of film continuity, I work hard to put what I learned from the previous films into subsequent films. This film is also different from my previous films because I felt a strong need for change. Just to try something new, raise the bar higher. I continue to feel it as an obligation to our fathers and grandfathers. Grandly stated, we made this film in the name of our fathers,“ said David Ondříček.

David Ondříček
David Ondříček graduated from the documentary department of the Prague FAMU. After several documentary films, he debuted with the film Šeptej in the year 1996. The film became the second most viewed film in the Czech Republic in the year 1996. It was nominated for the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam in 1997 and won the Promotional Award at the Festival of Young European Film in Cottbus. In the year 2000, David Ondříček released his second full-length film Samotáři, which was very successful domestically, as well as abroad. The film Samotáři was nominated for nine Czech Lion awards, and won two. The film also won three awards at the Mannheim Heidelberg IFFI in the year 2000. The same year, it won the Audience Award at the IFF in Thessaloniki and the IFF in Warsaw and three awards at the film festival in Plzeň. Jedna ruka netleská, David Ondříček’s third full-length film, premiered in the year 2003. It was nominated in three categories for the Czech Lion award and received a silver medal at the Houston International Festival in the category of independent acted films.  In the year 2006, David Ondříček released the film Grandhotel, which was chosen as part of the Panorama section at the Berlinale. Grandhotel was nominated for seven Czech Lion awards, and in the end won two.

Free admission.
First-come, first-served.


321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Feb 17, 2015 7:00 PM


Czech Center

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