My 20th Century
The Czech Center (321 E. 73rd St., Manhattan)
Director Olga Sommerová examined the private lives of three Czech women born before WW2, during the time of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Important artists whose work more often wins recognition abroad than at home, the three women radiate energy and wisdom. Scenes from the lives of modern painter Adriana Šimotová, writer and journalist Lenka Reinerová and actor and vocalist Soňa Červená are superimposed on the backdrop of the 20th century history. For each of the women, history brought brutal treatment, conflicts with various totalitarian regimes, as well as many personal losses. Despite this, they managed to find the strength to live and create. Infused with the women’s energy, optimism, wisdom and harmony, the documentary is all the more compelling thanks to the director’s interesting approach to her subjects and the form she chose to construct it, revealing unexpected circumstances. The women not only tell their own story but also present an important historical testimony. The grim conditions of the times form a framework within which their fates interweave, their unique traits coming together to form a patchwork of the 20th century.
No reservations. First come-first served.