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WASHINGTON FILM INSTITUTE cordially invites you to

[one_half last=”no”]EMBASSY OF SLOVAKIA
Thursday April 18 at 7pm
Reception follows

3523 International Ct NW
Washington, DC 20008


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BIRDIES, ORPHANS, AND FOOLS (Vtáčkovia, siroty a blázni )
Directed by Juraj Jakubisko, 1969, color, 78 min., in Slovak with English subtitles

Synopsis: Filmed immediately after the Soviet invasion of 1968, Jakubisko’s third feature remained unreleased until after the fall of Communism in 1989. The film centers on the relationship between Yorick, his best friend Andrej, a Pole, and Magda, a young Jewish woman. They address each other (and the camera) with philosophical statements about the meaning of life. Yorick, who has been raised in an institution for mentally handicapped children, envies them their ignorance of the true nature of the world, and decides to deny its cruelty by taking on the role of the Fool. While the triangle relationship recalls Truffaut’s Jules et Jim, Jakubisko’s heroes are all orphans – products of an absurd world, in which their parents killed each other. Besides the fools and the orphans, their apartment is also inhabited by birdies (little birds, ranging from parakeets to sparrows), who fly in and out through its official and unofficial exits. The film is full of ‘postmodern’ references from Shakespeare to Rabelais, and refers to key episodes in Slovak history. With its unremitting narrative and visual invention, the effect of the film is ultimately exhilarating despite its downbeat and negative conclusion. Awards: FIPRESCI Prize – 27th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 1990.

[one_half last=”no”]FREE BUT RSVP REQUIRED rsvp[/one_half][one_half last=”yes”]RECEPTION FOLLOWS Reception[/one_half]

John Hanshaw

John Hanshaw

founded WFI in the Fall of 2007. He has worked in film and television for over ten years at such institutions as NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), PBS and most recently National Geographic. He has degrees from Amherst College, Cambridge University, and GW Law.