Pressed to name the notable figures of the Czech New Wave, few critics would cite [Frantisek] Vláčil among such better-known directors as Jiří Menzel, Milos Forman, Jan Němec, and Ivan Passer. Arguably, Vláčil approached life under communism less directly than his peers, preferring symbolic narratives set in the Middle Ages or in the more recent past under Nazi occupation. Nonetheless, his films reflect the complex cultural and linguistic tapestry of the country’s politically divided history and identity.
Both lyrical and naturalistic, his work is infused with moral conviction, viewing present evils as manifestations of eternal conflicts. - Artforum
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