Return of the prodigal son

Return of the prodigal son

Návrat ztraceného syna

DVD - 2012 | Czech
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A psychological drama about an engineer unable to adjust to the world around him after his suicide attempt.
Publisher: [Irvington, NY] : Criterion Collection, [2012]
ISBN: 9781604655803
1604655801
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (103min.) : sd., b&w and col.; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Návrat ztraceného syna

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dudley_C
Sep 07, 2017

The quintessence of a genuinely adult film, Return of the Prodigal Son ranks with Ingmar Bergman's famed trilogy--Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence--for seriousness about the painfulness of living with integrity when you can see no integrity in the world around you. But whereas the uncomfortable hero of Winter Light, for instance, resolves to live, anyway, Jan, the hero of Return, doesn't make up his mind by the end of a movie that begins shortly after he has been rescued from a suicide attempt. His inconclusiveness probably remains as scandalous now as it was when the movie was made in communist Czechoslovakia, where it was shown only after the now clearly bitter prefatory statement that it is a fantasy, that nothing like it ever happens nowadays. The irony must have been evident to its first audiences, and it is no less so to twenty-first-century viewers, even in the historical land of the free, who realize that some conditions, especially for some people, may not ever be ameliorated: that's the nature of life. This grim-mindedness would make the movie off-puttingly dreary, but the craftsmanship evident in every frame and every actor's performance (even the tiny girl's, it seems), every carefully chosen and dressed setting, even in the score makes it a masterpiece.

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