Forman vs. Forman | Denver Film Society | Jakub Hejna | Helena Trestíková | Czech Republic

Forman vs. Forman

Jakub Hejna, Helena Trestíková

Art/Filmmaking, Biographical, Immigration

CzechEnglish SubtitlesCzech Republic201977 min

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Overview

Czech directors Helena Tetíková and Jakub Hejna knit together rare archival footage in this cleverly edited documentary about late great filmmaker Milo Forman.


Through clips, the charismatic director offers up childhood memories both sweet and chilling: He recalls seeing his first movie, a silent version of the opera The Bartered Bride, with audience members who sang the score as well as being drugged by his mother while Gestapo officers pounded on the door of his childhood home, preparing to transport her to Auschwitz.


Forman escaped the concentration camps that claimed the lives of his parents, but his experience of being shuttled from family member to family member never left him. He remained a perpetual outsider, whether he was playing cat-and-mouse with Communist censors as a contrarian member of the Czech New Wave or directing the most lauded films of his career in the United States. No surprise, then, that both One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus pit their protagonists against the inner workings of immovable systems: Their plots accord with what Forman called “the major conflict of human existence.”

Cast: Milos Forman, Miroslav Ondrícek