In commemoration of the historic end of the Second World War in Europe in May 1945, Czech Embassy Manila presented last May 9 Dark Blue World as the fifth film to be screened in the Czech Movie Gems collection this month.
Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša Jr. explains:“We are grateful for the unwavering support of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Cinematheque Manila, who share the same deep passion for cinematography and culture, and notably was recently awarded by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their long-term support to Czech cinematography. Together, we aspire to continue delivering to the Filipinos the best movies that display similarities to Filipino history, culture and values”.
Dark Blue World is byAcademy Award-winning director Jan Sverak (who also directed the opening movie of Czech Movie Gems, Kolya).
Set during World War II in Czechoslovakia occupied by Nazi Germany for six years, the film revolves around the love triangle of two Czech pilots in love with a British woman, seemingly familiar to Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor. The brotherly bond of Lt. Franta Slama, played by Ondrej Vetchy and Karel Vojtisek, played by Krystof Hadek is tested by love as war and chaos surrounds them.
Highly regarded as “a fitting requiem for heroes forgotten” by the Chicago Tribune and described as “an epic that blends action, romance and tragedy, brilliantly directed and sublimely acted” by The New York Observer, the film is a salute to the memory of the tragic stories of hundreds of Czech pilots who joined the British Royal Air Force to fight the Nazis during the Battle of Britain.
Considered as one of the most expensive Czech films created, the train scene was the most expensive scene in Czech cinema history, costing more than the entire film Kolya.
Undeniably successful, Dark Blue World proved it was worth every penny as it won at the 2002 Czech Lion Awards with Box Office Award, Critics’ Award Jan Sverak for Best Director, Vladimír Smutny for Best Cinematography, Ondrej Soukup for Best Music and Alois Fisarek for Best Editing.