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A search for the source of mystical knowledge is at the heart of this controversial feature from Czech New Wave veteran Jan Nemec (Diamonds of the Night). The film combines documentary, archival footage, and fiction into an elliptical narrative in which two young lovers in Prague–an ancient seat of alchemy–follow the trail of the fabled philosopher’s stone. History and future blend as Nemec, through brilliant montage sequences and fanciful leaps of the imagination, posits crucial questions about the legacy of the past and how it influences the individual’s personal freedom and responsibility. Jan Nemec’s second film, A Report on the Party and the Guests, was “banned forever” after the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968. He was not permitted to work and barred from leaving Czechoslovakia until 1974. After his release, Nemec spent almost two decades abroad before the Velvet Revolution in 1989, when he returned to his homeland made this stunning work of meta-fiction. In Czech with English subtitles.

Jan Nemec---Czech Republic---1997---80 mins.
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