In a non-descript small Czech town, a handful of people come together: a paranoid and rage-filled prison guard, his hypochondriac neighbour and the latter’s silent, despairing wife, a lovesick nightclub manager and a stripper who is a single mom. Their encounters soon weave into a drama of explosive proportions that exceeds the provincial setting of this anonymous drive-through place.
The latest feature from Petr Vaclav, one of the foremost voices in Czech cinema, shifts from the realistic to the bizarre with a dark humour that doesn’t falter even in the most grotesque of circumstances.
None of the characters we encounter are at the peak of a successful, satisfied or fulfilled life. All of them, from the hypochondriac’s wife (Lenka Vlasáková) who is desperate for some love and a male touch, to the nightclub manager (Zdeněk Godla) who pines for one of his girls (Klaudia Dudová), live a drab and mundane black-and-white existence. Periodically though, their everyday life takes on the brighter colours of hope and desire.
We Are Never Alone was awarded the Tagesspiegel Readers’ Jury Award at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.
Czech Republic/France 2016 Dir Petr Vaclav 105 mins
New East Cinema is a film series presented in collaboration with Calvert 22 Foundation, curated by The New Social: a cultural collective bringing contemporary cinema from eastern Europe and beyond to London.