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322

322
Director: Dušan Hanák

Czechoslovakia, drama, 1969, 95 min

Jozef Lauko, who has terminal cancer is a middle-aged chef living with his wayward ex-wife. In the agonising wait for a diagnosis Lauko re-evaluates his life, questioning whether he has really been living for the moment, and what he has made of the relationships he has with people. When a phone call from the hospital informs him enigmatically that they have a bed for him, Lauko accepts his mortality, but as he grows more aware of his own imminent fate, he also becomes more conscious of other people’s lives. The core of film’s story is based not on the faith of the main character, but on his observations of other people. In the original short story from which the film was adapted, Lauko was apolitical - but Hanák was adamant that he was a former communist, contextualising the feature and giving the character’s self-deprecation some depth. “322” is a psychological, existentialist drama not only of an individual’s illness, but also of the illness of society.

Awards:

1969 – Grand Prize for film director Dusan Hanák at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg (Germany).

About the director:

Dušan Hanák (b. 1938) is a Slovak film director, one of the member of the “Slovak New Wave”. Hanák graduated from the FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts of Prague) in 1965. He began with a series of shorts at the Koliba film studios in Bratislava. Several of them received awards, and so did his first feature film “322” (1969). Hanák followed it with the stilladmired feature-length documentary “Pictures of the Old World” (Obrazy starého sveta, 1972), which is partly a meditation on what lies hidden beneath the concept of ‘an authentic life’, a theme already addressed in “322”. Although Hanák was treated with suspicion by the more repressive communist authorities that took over after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, he found an early refuge in a topic sufficiently removed from big politics to survive on the margins of official production, yet executed with a finesse that gave it a wide international appeal. In 1977 Hanák directed one more original work “Rosy Dreams” (Ruzové sny). His film “I Love, You Love” (Ja milujem, ty milujes, 1989) won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.

Section: Films of the Golden Period: Slovak New Wave

Screenplay: Dušan Hanák

Dir. of Photography: Viktor Svoboda

Music: Ladislav Gerhardt

Cast: Václav Lohniský, Lucyna Winnická, Josef Abrhám, Vlado Weiser, Miroslav Macháček, František Zvarík