The Klassiki Companion to the humanism and surrealism of the Czech New Wave

In this piece, first published on the Klassiki Journal by critic Sonya Vseliubska and read here by host Oliver Hunt, we introduce listeners to the wild world of the Czech New Wave: one of the most influential movements in Central and Eastern European cinema history. Emerging in the late 1950s in the wake of de-Stalinisation in the eastern bloc, this expressionistic and socially conscious strand of Czech film rewrote the rules for filmmaking behind the Iron Curtain. Blending aesthetic and philosophical innovations from France and Italy, the New Wave gave us legendary figures like Věra Chytilová, František Vláčil, and Miloš Forman.

Read Sonya’s piece here and make sure to explore our full collection of Central European film.

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Intro music by Juliet Merchant.