Prague

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Read about this film in Cyn Collins’s Daily Planet review, “21 films in 11 days.”

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Director: OLE CHRISTIAN MADSEN

A hearty blend of dark humor and heartbreak, Prague divulges the secrets of a disintegrating marriage with both empathy and brutal honesty. Christoffer (Mads Mikkelsen) and his wife Maja (Stine Stengade) go to Prague to bring the remains of his recently deceased father back to Denmark. For Christoffer, abandoned 25 years earlier despite his outward stoicism, it’s only a question of getting him packed into a coffin, and back to the family grave site so he can return to everyday life with his wife and their 12-year-old son.

Behind a convincing facade, amid a relationship that’s cracking up, confrontating his father’s death doesn’t make things any easier. In Prague, still a city of medieval mystery and Franz Kafka, they find themselves up against a bumbling bureaucracy that seems to have misplaced the cadaver. Language barriers and cultural divides so make for near-surreal encounters with locals. When both Maja (she had been cheating on him) and the attorney handling his late father’s affairs blindside him with new disclosures, Christoffer starts to fight for his marriage and come to terms with his past, while fighting to avoid being destroyed in the city that traps him and to which he came on a purely practical errand. Winner of 4 Bodil Awards (The Danish Oscar) including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

(In Danish & Czech with English subtitles)

DENMARK • 2006 • 90 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: OLE CHRISTIAN MADSEN

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