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Rental Unit: "Zelary"

The beautiful Czech actress Anna Geislerova plays the Ingrid Bergman role as Hana, the young lover of a well-to-do doctor in Prague. Her circle might be described today as a terrorist cell, as it is part of the Czech resistance. Early on, director Ondrej Trojan establishes the genuine peril of their maneuvers with an economical scene of Anna delivering verboten correspondence. Her group discovered, she must quickly change her name and seek asylum in the isolated countryside with a doting but coarse mill worker named Joza (Gy”rgy Cserhalmi). To her dismay, local decorum insists they wed.

Seasons change as she adapts to her new clime, undergoing a transformation from misery to mild affection and finally falling in love with her new life.

Trojan manages to capture a sometimes haunting pastoral quality necessary to convince us of Anna's inevitable anguish. There is also a diligent attention to subplot, bringing secondary characters into the foreground and fleshing them out with inspired details. The story of one little girl and her brother is so touching it could have been made into a movie on its own.

"Zelary" illustrates what it means to live in a community rather than a society. It takes us to places outside the daily suburban grind, and not solely in terms of geography. — Wayne Melton

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