Barbican celebrates Drahomíra Vihanová with rare screening of ‘A Squandered Sunday’ + Skype Screen Talk

PreBarbican Cinema, Barbican Centre

Drahomíra Vihanová

Thu 2 – Sat 4 June 2016

As one of the few women filmmakers in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and ‘70s, Drahomíra Vihanová studied at the legendary FAMU (Film and TV School of The Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague, which became a focus for dissent against the Communist regime.
Principled and unwilling to compromise, her first feature film A Squandered Sunday (1969) was banned by the authorities, and she was only able to return to filmmaking in the late ‘70s and then only permitted to make documentaries. As a result, her films have never been seen before in the UK.

The Barbican is delighted to present A Squandered Sunday, followed by a Screen Talk with Drahomíra Vihanová, live from Prague. A subsequent screening will showcase four classic Vihanová documentary shorts from the 1960s through to the 1980s.

A Squandered Sunday (15*)

+ ScreenTalk with Drahomíra Vihanová (via Skype)

Thu 2 Jun 6.30pm, Cinema 2

(Czech 1969 Dir. Drahomíra Vihanová 78 min)

Drahomíra Vihanová was a prominent member of the Czechoslovak New Wave, alongside Milos Forman, Ivan Passer, and Jiří Menzel, but unlike some of her contemporaries, she remained in her country after the Prague Spring in 1968, only to have her work heavily censored. A Squandered Sunday, her first feature, is an existential, absurdist and beautifully shot satire about a lethargic army officer exploring his fantasies one Sunday morning.

This screening will be followed followed by a Screen Talk with Drahomíra Vihanová, live from Prague via Skype.

Drahomíra Vihanová Documentary Shorts Programme (15*)

Sat 4 Jun 4pm, Cinema 2

(Czech 1987/1983/1985/1965 102 min approx.)

As one of the few women filmmakers in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and ‘70s, Vihanová’s work frequently explored Czech society from the perspective of women. When the authorities requested a film about the Dukovany nuclear power plant, rather than make a propaganda film about technology and engineering she chose to focus on the women kitchen workers in Dukovany, a Boiling Cauldron (1987, 35 min). Her documentary Garden Full of Nappies (1983,15 mins) tackled the taboo subject of single motherhood, and Questions for Two Women (1985, 22 min) gives voice to a rural female railway worker who writes poetry and a molecular chemist working in the city. Frequently exploring the world of outsiders, her first film, Fugue on the Black Keys (1965, 30 min) follows an African classical music student in Prague and explores issues of loneliness and isolation at a time when there were few non-white students in the country.

Programme: Fugue on the Black Keys (1965, 30 min)

+ Dukovany, a Boiling Cauldron (1987, 35 min)

+ Garden Full of Nappies (1983, 15 min)

+ Questions for Two Women (1985, 22 min)

Presented in partnership with the Czech Centre London, and the National Film Archive, Prague

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