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Foreign Film - Czech Republic - Protektor

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Marek Daniel, Jana Plodkova
Directed by Marek Najbrt
Czech with English Subtitles
Czech Republic 2009
Film Movement 2012

Though it is a good and stylistically interesting movie, there are bits and pieces of Protektor that are hard to figure out. This is not due to a language barrier but to either a lack of some cultural references the viewer is missing or to some unclear points in the complex script. This said, most foreign movie DVD fans will enjoy Protektor now available from Film Movement but it would not be my choice to introduce someone to this company’s monthly releases

Protektor opens at the beginning of WWII. Hanna is an upcoming film star married Emil who works for the national radio. When Germany invades, Hanna, being Jewish, becomes a pariah. Emil, who is not a Jew, becomes the voice of Nazi controlled national radio to protect his wife.

This foreign film is a story told in parallels. Emil is forced to compromise himself more and more to protect his wife while Hanna becomes more and more daring in her sorties from her home. While Emil was the jealous one in the beginning, Hanna gradually becomes the jealous one.

A bicycle is the central image of this movie and also plays an important role. Some of the elements of this story line are a little muddled.

Also a bit muddled is what motivates both Hanna and Emil to do what they do at the end of the movie.

The short film included on this foreign film DVD is I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors by Ann Marie Fleming. This is a very good NFB production.

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