Vyhnání z ráje (2001)










Everything is different, everything is naked... and open.

This movie involves many hidden layers. It is basically a philosophical movie, staged at the least philosophical environment imaginable: A closed scenery of a nudist spot, where some hired Czech stuff is making a plain erotic movie for a rich Russian producer. Nothing in this movie is what it seems to be at the first superficial glance. The story is just a patsy. Naked relationships and sampled philosophies of all those people are symbolized by all those naked people themselves. It is rather a movie how to make some sense out of a nonsense. About boundaries, differences and similarities between reality and staged pseudo-reality. Everything culminates in last climactic scenes, when neither directors nor actors and viewers are sure if the death is real or just a part of the movie plot. A key to the whole story is perhaps in its very last sentence: "When I imagine that this Earth is flying in the Universe ... those people are perhaps not even realizing that..."

At present, it is a very underrated movie by Věra Chytilová, which probably will be more appreciated only after some time. It is a symbolic movie, made paradoxically by a highly non-symbolic and realistic method. It is a complicated and provoking intellectual movie, definitely not recommended to those who are seeking just some erotic stuff or plain action movie. It obviously also involves some tangible biographical and personal elements and internal fights of Boleslav Polívka (one of writers and the major protagonist) and Věra Chytilová herself.


Description: The uncompromising director Věra Chytilová, well-known for her harshly mocking attacks on people''s failings and foibles, has created a new filmic parable on human weakness with Vyhnání z ráje (Expulsion from Paradise, 2001), her most recent film. Although fully within the Chytilová tradition of biting moral fable, the film has had a lukewarm reception from Czech and international critics.

The main story of Vyhnání z ráje concerns Rosta, a film director (Bolek Polívka), who is shooting a film at a nudist beach.[2] Everyone in the film crew has different ideas about the genre and style of the film being shot: The director tries to create an artistic work, an experimental metaphor about Adam and Eve; the Russian producer Igor (Milan Šteindler) hopes to see an erotic lovestory produced; and the screenwriter (played by theatre director and dramatist J A Pitínský) aims to express his positive philosophy about humanity through the film.

The fictive film within the film is called Paradiso, but it seems more like a hell than paradise. Monstrous naked bodies lie on the beach as if in a tableau from the apocalypse. We watch the director in a state of personal crisis. He experiences misunderstandings with his wife (played by French actress and Polívka''s ex-wife Chantal Poullain) and also complications in the relationship with his lover (who is the daughter of Paradiso''s producer and also happens to be the film''s lead actress). The respective stories of each character in Vyhnání z ráje do not add up to a coherent unit but rather make up a mosaic that Chytilová uses to create a picture of moral decline.