New Hyperion | Chicago Reader

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This marathon 1992 political documentary by Karel Vachek, an exiled Czech filmmaker who came home to record the changes brought on by the Velvet Revolution, offers a flood of impressions but little insight. Vachek and his crew range across the country filming people from every walk of life—more than 50 of them, in hundreds of separate scenes—as they prepare for democratic elections. The politicians, intellectuals, shopkeepers, and factory workers come across like a hundred flowers in bloom, but it's hard to make sense of their wide-ranging opinions without the aid of any sort of overarching commentary. Vachek's shooting style—filled with abrupt zooms and visual cliches—gets to be annoying, as does his reluctance to edit sensibly. By the end I was exhausted—and this is just the first film in Vachek's four part series “Petty Capitalism.” In Czech with subtitles. 207 min.

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