Monday, June 4, 2012

Jason watches IDENTITY CARD

This is a film I missed at Cinequest, but I got a second chance at the Roxie's program of New Czech Cinema. Set in communist Czechoslavakia of...actually, I don't know what year. The Roxie's program claims it's the 80's, Cinequest claims it was 1974, and I don't recall any specific year called out in the film. In any case, the main characters are self-proclaimed hippies, so they're behind the times no matter what. Anyway, "hippy" to them means they grow their hair long and get together to drink and smoke. Rather than politically active, they're mostly pranksters who have their whole life ahead of them. And when they turn 15, they are all issued the titular identity cards in a ceremony that's supposed to represent a coming-of-age in their Communist paradise. In reality, it's how they enter a system where their rebellious pranks (e.g., shaking the police chief's hand so hard they crush it at the identity card ceremony) are no longer tolerated. Not that they don't keep trying. It's just that their pranks have more and more blowback, as their opportunities for University, etc. are closed and it gets harder and harder to avoid military service. It doesn't exactly go anywhere as a story, but it's an entertaining and nostalgic look at the commonalities of rebellious youth in a time and place that usually isn't a source of nostalgia.

Running Time: 129 minutes
My Total Minutes: 286,574

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