Czech Mate: The Films of Jaromil Jires - …And Give My Love to the Swallows & The Joke
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(May 31, 2011)
Jaromil Jires was a leading voice in the Czech New Wave, but conflicts with Communist censors ultimately affected his career. This set features two of the director's early works, which earned international praise but branded him as a subversive in the eyes of authorities. ...And Give My Love to the Swallows (1972, 87 mins.) tells the true story of Maruska Kuderikova, a young Moravian girl who joined the Czech Resistance during World War II and was arrested by the Nazis. Kuderikova chronicled her experience as a prisoner in her diary, which Jires transforms into an uplifting tale of sacrifice for the sake of a better future. Based on a novel by Milan Kundera, The Joke (1968, 80 mins). is a dark and ironic film that was shot during the Prague Spring of 1968. After ending a postcard with a humorous reference to Trotsky, a young man is sentenced to years of hard labor for his joke. Upon his release, he sets out to take revenge by seducing the wife of the Communist Party official who had him arrested.