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Year of the Devil | living amsterdam Blog

Shown at Overtoom 301’s cinema “Rok ďábla” (Year of the Devil, Czech Republic, 2002, 88 min.) is a comedic music documentary direct by Petr Zelenka, starring real-life Czech folk-rocker Jarek Nohavica as a fictionalized version of himself. The following musicians act as themselves in the movie: musicians and poets, Jaromir Nohavica and Karel Plihal, Czech folk music band Čechomor, and British musician and composer Jaz Coleman.
The movie won six categories at the 2002 Czech Lion awards.

Jarek Nohavica

The plan of the movie

Dutch documentary film maker, Jan Holman, goes to the Czech Republic to make a film about curing alcoholism. In an alcoholics anonymous clinic he meets a mysterious, silent man named Jarek Nohavica who becomes his friend. When Karel Plihal, writer and player of Nohavica’s arrangements, starts to suffer a weird psychological-disease and becomes mute, Jarek decides to go on tour with a funeral band called Čechomor (Czech-Moravian Musical Society) in order to cure his friend and to relieve alcoholic people’s suffering. Jan Holman follows the band with his camera and many inexplicable events take place along the way.

“The greatest attention is attracted by Jaromír Nohavica himself… While all the others continually are seeking something, a kind of absolute knowledge of themselves, whether through God, ritual, music or alcohol, Nohavica is the only one not trying to explain anything. He is striving for nothing, only existing on the screen, perhaps because he discovered this sense within himself long ago and hid it within his songs, which themselves form the impulse for the others to start their own searching. He becomes the symbol and the indication of nearly everything metaphysical that transpires in the film” (reviewer Martina Muziková, Literární noviny, July 22, 2002).

Year of the Devil

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