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Tom 176 (2022)

O zapomnianej czeskiej prowincji. Próba krytycznej refleksji nad filmem „Mistři” Marka Najbrta

  • Dorota Żygadło-Czopnik
1 września 2022


In this article, we introduce readers to the works of the Czech director Marek Najbrt, unknown in Poland, using the example of the film Mistři (2004, Champions). The artist in his work tells about unemployment, contemporary national myths, illusions, love, and hockey. It is a movie addressing issues of Czech national identity, mentality, and the situation in which the Czechs found themselves after 1989. After fifteen years of experience with political independence, market economy, openness to the world, providing new challenges, and enabling comparisons and recapitulation, the artist takes up a story, created from fragments of the history of the “abandoned” inhabitants of certain devastated border areas. In the reflection on the Czech director’s work, we will pay attention to the message about the features of “forbidden narratives” and previously unnoticed narratives. The discourse on the Czechs and Czechness presented in Champions is also developed through the specific creation of film space and applying specific meanings to it (or resulting from it). The authors of the script offered the viewers a bitter tragicomedy about emotional emptiness and human littleness.