Christmas holidays are that special time when you are supposed to enjoy peace, love, good food and, of course, family. But let’s be honest – after all is said and done (and eaten), most of us will likely find ourselves just chilling in the cozy sofas searching through the TV channels for some nice movie to watch and relax. However, most of the channels are repeating the same old Hollywood evergreens year after year and you definitely can´t be judged if you can´t take anymore Home Alones, Ice Ages or Shreks this year. Instead, try some of the movies from our list. From fairytales through comedy to drama, they all are great and, firstly, they all are Slavic!
1. Father Frost / Morozko
Although already 52 years old, this Russian holiday movie classic will probably never get out of fashion. Meet beautiful and kindhearted Nastenka and follow her as she meets with the love of her life – handsome, yet a little too self-assure Ivan. Laugh at Nastenka´s silly and arrogant half-sister Marfusha and have your fingers crossed as the karma gets back on her cruel step-mother. And because this movie is a fairytale, you will also fall for the spell of tricky old wizard Morozko and his magic wound that turns everything into the ice! Many of us can tell this story by heart as we grew up watching it over and over again each and every Christmas – never getting bored by it. If this is not your case, you better catch up with us this year!
2. The Night of Saint Nicholas / Noc swietego Mikolaja
If your idea of perfect holiday chilling includes a bit of laughter, try this nice Polish comedy from 2000. It centers around two prisoners who get a chance to perform some good deeds (or escape) when they are granted one-day leave from their cells. They are expected to dress up as Santa Claus and Angel and hand out some sponsored presents to the poor children from local orphanage. Although at first Lucjan and Jedrus think only about their own possible benefits coming from this unusual situation, when they learn that the children are not really going to get any real presents from them, they are determined to do some good for real…
3. Three Wishes for Cinderella / Tři oříšky pro Popelku
What makes a perfect fairytale? Lovely princess, bed-turning-good and a sprinkle of magic? This beautiful Czech movie from 1973 has it all – and much more! The story is an absolute classic – poor and underestimated housemaid Popelka (Cinderella) gets three magical nuts that can make her dreams come true. Of course, as an adolescent girl, all she really wants is a gorgeous set of evening gowns that will change her into the stunning beauty. How could the poor prince possibly resist…?! Although this movie is already 40+ years old, you can still appreciate its bold costumes, lovely snowy exteriors and authentic “old-times” interiors. And we can´t forget about the beautiful music too – the theme song was recorded by legendary Czech singer Karel Gott and is still being heavily played by radio stations during the Christmas time…
4. Christmas Tree Upside Down / Obarnata Elha
Feeling a little bit too grown-up for a fairytale? Not really fancying comedies? Still want to watch something Slavic focusing on Christmas? Check out this great Bulgarian movie from 2006. The film consists of six short stories that are tied together by the presence of huge spruce that is being cut in Bulgarian woods to serve as a Christmas tree in the center of Sofia. Watch the fragments of everyday lives full of love, sadness, cruelty, longing, beauty and disgrace. It´s full of philosophy, psychology, emotions – perfect for a little Christmas contemplation (and digesting your festive meal). Oh, and did we mention the huuuge Christmas tree..?
5. Snow Queen / Snezhnaya koroleva
Who wouldn´t know this epic fairytale by legendary Hans Christian Anderson? Although you can choose from tons of different adaptations from all over the world, we recommend you to stick to the classical Russian movie from 1966. You may know the Kai and Gerda´s adventurous story by heart but you will still be surprised by the quantity of good jokes, interesting supportive characters, catchy songs and first-class (for the given times, of course) visual effects that have made their way into this bold movie version.
Yes, another fairytale! But be assured that this one has a lot to offer even to the mostly grown-up ones among us. Directed by the most famous Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko and featuring Giulietta Masina (wife of Federico Fellini who was friends with Jakubisko), this is a first-class winter-themed movie for all generations. The story centers on Jakub, young boy who lives with Perinbaba, mythical mistress of snow who has saved him from the death when he was just a little boy. Now Jakub isn´t small anymore and he finds himself in love with tender girl named Alžbetka. But can their love overcome all obstacles..?