Slovakia’s cinema in the spotlight

Films from Slovakia are just the thing to put a bit of pep into the post-Easter lull. From tomorrow through April 19, the Trianon Filmcenter (21 Kodringtonos) in central Athens will be hosting a tribute titled «The Spring of Slovak Cinema,» jointly organized by the Department of Cinema and Audiovisual Media of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Slovak Embassy in Athens. The tribute will then travel north to Thessaloniki, where it will be shown on the Olympion 2 cinema screen from April 26 to May 2. The tribute consists of nine films, a relatively small number to be classed as a full representation of 21st century film production in Slovakia, yet it is the largest tribute to the country’s industry ever to be held in Greece. One of the highlights of the event is the screening of Martin Sulik’s «The Garden,» a 1995 film credited with putting the country’s film industry back on the global map. There will also be an exhibition in the theater’s foyer with a selection of works created by the students of the Animation School of Bratislava. Slovakian cinema went through a prolonged slump following the November 1989 revolution and the ensuing breakup of Czechoslovakia. Before that, the country produced some eight films a year. Slovak filmmakers took a while to adapt to the new reality in their country and the industry’s comeback began with «The Garden,» which was screened at numerous international festivals to great critical acclaim. Slovak cinema today does not dwell on the country’s past, but, rather, addresses contemporary themes and issues that concern not just the region of Central Europe but the entire world as well. There is also a healthy dose of humor, satire and surrealism that hails back to the golden days of the region’s film industry. Screenings in Athens will be held daily at 6.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m., and in Thessaloniki at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

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