The White Carpathian Mountains, straddling the border of Moravia and Slovakia, are one of the most beautiful and rural parts of the Czech Republic. Towns are few and far between and for centuries local people would take their aches and pains to old women renowned in the region for their special healing powers. They were known as “goddesses” and passed their knowledge from generation to generation. But Czechoslovakia’s post-war communist rulers saw the world these women represented as a threat and within two generations they were wiped out. Their
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off on Friday night in the West Bohemian spa town. This year’s festival, the 48th, will give audiences the chance to catch hundreds of movies they would never otherwise get to see on the big screen, while fans can also look forward to seeing some big stars on the red carpet. Ahead of the gala opening, Ian Willoughby, who is there, told us what is happening at the moment.
Vojtech Jasný’s lyrical masterpiece All My Good Countrymen is the third classic Czech film to have been digitally restored in recent years, and, like its predecessors, the new version will be seen for the first time at the Karlovy Vary film festival. Ahead of Saturday’s gala screening, I discussed the movie and its restoration with the person who oversaw the project, Anna Batistová, head of the Audiovisual Collection at the National Film Archive.
Welcome to the newest edition of SoundCzech. Today we will listen to a song by the Eben Brothers called Čert, or the Devil. We have already talked about the devil in another SoundCzech episode, but today we will look at a few more fun Czech sayings that involve the prince of darkness. The song we will listen to today, also talks about a different side of the feared entity – a sad devil.
In today’s Arts my guest is the Berlin-based Canadian artist Rebecca Halls who goes by the stage name of Beka Hoop. Next week, Rebecca launches the second ever Hoopurbia, bringing together hoop dance performers from around the world. The first inception was held in industrial parts of Berlin; how will Prague compare?
In recent years literacy experts have expressed concern that children are not reading enough for pleasure and that many youngsters are never read to by their parents. They claim that children who are left to fill their own time, watching TV and playing computer games may be at a serious disadvantage later on in life. In an effort to offset this alarming trend a Czech NGO is organizing an annual week of events to provide inspiration for a habit that may turnaround a child’s life.
The three-day United Islands music festival, which gets underway in Prague on Thursday night, is being held this year for the 10th time. Performers will include visiting acts such as U.S. soul artist Aloe Blacc and Irish singer-songwriter Cathy Davey, as well as local outfits like Midi Lidi and the Plastic People of the Universe. However, the free event isn’t actually taking place on an island this year. As final preparations were underway, I spoke to United Islands organizer David Gaydečka.
Marie Gabánková is a noted portrait artist, painter and teacher. She was born in Ostrava and left Czechoslovakia with her family shortly after the Soviet invasion of 1968, aged just seventeen. She has lived in Canada ever since and has had a book of her works published in England, and had such noted figures as singer-songwriter Karel Kryl and writer Josef Škvorecký sit down for portraits. When I met up with her I began by asking Marie what memories she has of her youth in Czechoslovakia.