(11/5/04 8:11 pm)
Zelary: History as Fairy Tale|
I've just seen an interesting movie in terms of fairy tale subjects. It's a Czech historical drama called "Zelary," nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar in 2004, but just now making the rounds of "art house" theaters.
It's not an adaptation of any particular fairy tale; it's a fact-based drama about a young nurse and former med student in Prague during the Nazi occupation ca. 1943. She's forced to flee the city with forged papers giving her new identity, and eventually has to marry a stoic mountain man twice her age in a remote village to maintain her disguise & hide out from the Gestapo.
What's fascinating is the way the story is put together. Besides the young woman who must flee in disguise, there's a dark wood at the edge of the village where horrible, frightening things happen, and a raucous old crone (the village midwife) who brings laughter to the heroine, freeing her to discover herself. Of course there are also elements of Beauty & Beast in the marriage, and absolute evil (the Nazis; the war itself) to be overcome.
Quite an intriguing film, and worth checking out for folks interested in fairy tale-type storytelling. I don't know how wide the distribution is, but it might be out on video/DVD soon (if not already).