The Interpreter Will Start Its Journey at the Berlin International Film Festival

The new film by director Martin Šulík The Interpreter (Tlmočník) will receive its world première at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival (15-25 February 2018). The co-production animated film Untravel will also be screened at the festival, in the Generation 14plus Section.

One is an Austrian bon-vivant with a weakness for alcohol and beautiful women, the other is a Slovak Jew and an ascetic man. The first is played by the acclaimed Austrian actor Peter Simonischek, who last year won the European Film Award for Best Actor for Toni Erdman. The other is portrayed by the Czech Academy Award-winning director, Jiří Menzel. This mismatched pair are brought together in The Interpreter by director Martin Šulík whose most recent films in cinema were the documentary Milan Čorba three years ago and, as regards feature films, Gypsy (Cigán, 2011). The peculiar road movie The Interpreter will be screened in the Berlinale Special Section. Šulík’s film was inspired by the book The Dead Man in the Bunker (Der Tote im Bunker) by writer and reporter Martin Pollack. In this book he describes his relationship with his father – the commander of SS special forces who was deployed in Slovakia somewhere around Ružomberok at the end of 1944. “We wanted to look at the whole issue from two sides and so we invented a counterpart to the Austrian – the interpreter who lost his entire family during the war. A sort of tragi-comic road movie gradually evolved, the story of two old men who, at the end of their lives, are seeking to understand their own lives,” specified Martin Šulík in a press release. “When we wrote this script in tandem with Marek Leščák, we wanted it to be not just about the past but also about the present of Slovakia. That is why many of the episodes in the film are contemporary. They encounter young girls but also problems which are currently found in Slovakia. So, it should be a look at the past but through the eyes of contemporaries,” said the director for while shooting the fi lm last year in Bratislava. The Interpreter was made in a Slovak-Czech-Austrian co-production and it will be released in Slovak cinemas on 1 March.

Slovakia is also represented at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Competition Section, with the Serbian-Slovak animated film Untravel made by Ana Nedeljković and Nikola Majdak Jr. The fi lm about patriotism, tourism and emigration was co-produced by the Slovak companies BFILM and Your Dream Factory and it will be screened in the Generation 14plus Section which focuses on works for children and young people. Last year, Iveta Grófová’s Little Harbour (Piata loď) received its world première in the related Generation Kplus Section where it eventually won the Crystal Bear. This year, Little Harbour is nominated for the European Children’s Film Association Award which will be presented during the Berlinale.

Three other Slovak films – Nina (dir. J. Lehotský), Freedom (Sloboda/Freiheit dir. J. Speckenbach) and Barefoot (Po strništi bos, dir. J. Svěrák) will be screened at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Over the course of the festival, Slovak cinema will be represented in the Central European Cinema stand No. 137 which also serves for working meetings of film professionals. It operates under the aegis of the Slovak Film Institute which also prepared the Slovak Films 17 – 18 Catalogue for the festival, and the Whatʼs Slovak in Berlin? bulletin.

— text: Zuzana Sotáková —
IN Film Praha/Garfield film —