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IN AND OUT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NEW WAVE
Starting August 2, 2019
CAUGHT BY NIGHT (Zastihla mě noc, 1985)
CAUGHT BY NIGHT
Zastihla mě noc, 1985, 130min, Czechoslovakia
imported archival print
Czech with English subtitles
Born to Jewish parents in Kežmarok in modern-day Slovakia, Herz spent part of his youth in Ravensbrück labor camp, an experience of horror which may have obliquely informed much of his work, and which is directly reflected in Caught by Night. Coming to what was conceived as a biography of Communist journalist Jožka Jabůrková, a victim of Ravensbrück, Herz went his own way, creating a nauseously stylized vision of hell on earth that is, with Wanda Jakubowska’s 1948 The Last Stage, one of only two fiction films made by a camp survivor about the experience. (Some of Spielberg’s possible borrowings in Schindler’s List had Herz reportedly considering legal action.)
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