Do you want to get the best idea of what Slovakia is really like? Are you eager to learn about its culture, people and history? Tired of reading boring tourist guides? Check out this list of six amazing Slovak movies that are going to prepare you for your trip better than anything else. Forget about Hostel and see for yourself what do Slovaks really like, what makes them laugh and how they interpret their past and present through the lens of a camera. As a bonus, you will get pretty decent entertainment, as all of these movies rock!
1.The Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze)
Let´s begin with a little introduction to Slovak history. This 1965 movie (filmed when Slovakia was still part of Czechoslovakia) brings us back to infamous 40´s when Slovak political leaders collaborated with German Nazis. Main character Tóno Brtko is torn apart by two contradicting desires: He is a simple guy who means to hurt nobody- but when he´s offered the shop forcedly taken from his Jewish neighbor, he can’t resist. This movie will give you not only insight into the most painful part of modern Slovak history, but also the best example of Slovak cinematography. Did you know it actually won an Oscar?! Also, the main character is played by unforgettable Jozef Kroner – considered best Slovak actor ever.
If you plan to visit Slovakia during winter season, you better prepare for wind, rain and snow – elements that will likely force you to spend more time inside then out. If you want to have perfect topic to talk about with locals in some cozy pub, try to catch up with their fairytales enthusiasm! Winter holidays are all about watching fairytales (and eating) in Slovakia and Perinbaba is considered national treasure among them. Directed by most famous Slovak filmmaker Juraj Jakubisko and featuring Giulietta Masina (wife of Federico Fellini), this movie tells magically surrealistic love story of Jakub and Alžbetka set in rural Slovakia.
If you want to know which topic makes Slovaks go crazy, its politics. Whether it´s their communistic past, tough 90´s full of corruption and crime or contemporary situation, there´s always some reason to grumble, argue or fight. This film from 2013 looks behind the scenes of fictional presidential campaign – and focuses on the endless power of media, advertisement and money. Though Slovak moviegoers are known for preferring Hollywood production over their home films, Kandidát made it really big in cinemas. It´s also tastefully shot using effective editing and sound tricks.
Another movie by Juraj Jakubisko, another trip to the past. Alžbeta Báthoryová is probably the most widely known Slovak woman. Not because of her wealth or beauty –her “popularity” is based on the myth that she was a beast who used to drink and bath in human blood. You can even find her in the Guinness book of records as the world´s worst murderess of all times! Jakubisko, however, gave only little credit to this gossip and shows Bathory´s real story instead.
5.The Copper Tower (Medená veža)
If you plan to visit Slovakia, High Tatras are surely on your bucket list. Prepare for seeing these majestic mountains by watching the tragicomic story of three friends living in the remote mountain chalet. There is whole range of great Slovak actors in this 1970´s movie and you will surely fall for its nostalgic spell thanks to great music and breathtaking High Tatras exteriors.
6.The Fountain for Suzanne (Fontána pre Zuzanu)
Whole generation of 30-40 years old Slovaks grew up on songs, jokes and romance from this movie. If you want to relate to their teenage worries and desires, this is the best way. The story focuses on group of youngsters enjoying their last careless summer before going to different high schools. The main star (blonde bombshell) can easily make you believe what they say about Slovak women – that they are prettiest in the whole world. But make no mistake, as beautiful actress Eva Vejmělková is actually Czech 🙂