‘Some Like it Czech’: presenting Czech culture through films

A new project, called ‘Some Like it Czech’, gets underway at Prague’s Kino Aero next week. It aims to present some interesting aspects of Czech culture to foreign viewers through well-known Czech movies. The first film to be screened next Tuesday is the Oscar-winning Kolya from 1997:

Some Like It Czech is a project conceived by two young Czech university students, Anna Šenfeldová and Šárka Bekrová, as part of their MA programme. Šárka Bekrová says they were inspired by a similar project called Lost in Frenchlation as well as by their Erasmus exchange stay in Barcelona.

“My friend and co-founder of this project, Anna, stayed in Barcelona last year, where she went to a great seminar presenting Spanish culture through film. We thought it was an amazing idea and we immediately wanted do have something similar here in the Czech Republic.”

So how would you describe the aim of the project?

“The aim of this project is to present Czech culture through film. When you come to a foreign city, the reality doesn’t always meet your expectations. Think of a crowded Wenceslas Square, for example. So we wanted to show foreigners that Czech culture can be colourful and romantic.

“We watched many Czech films during the pandemic and we selected the ones that had some kind of added value for foreign audiences, focusing on such topics as mushroom picking, Moravian folklore or the love of Czech beer.”

'Kolya' | Photo: Czech Television

‘Some Like it Czech’ will get underway next Tuesday, October 12, with the screening of Jan Svěrák’s Kolya, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1997. The organizers hope it will help to shed some light on the dynamics of Czech-Russian relations during the Communist era.

The screening will be complemented with English subtitles and will be preceded by a short stand-up show featuring Prague-based Italian comedian Carmine Rodi:

“We wanted someone who could present our culture in a detached and a slightly ironic way. That’s why we chose Carmina, who has lived here for a long time, and who can do so in a very funny and fitting way.

“We want to have a stand-up show before each of the screenings and follow it with a networking event, so hopefully people will stay afterwards and chat with us about the movie.”

The organizers do not want to reveal which films are next on the list, but say the programme for November has already been decided. Šárka Bekrová again:

“Next month there is a holiday called Dušičky in the Czech Republic, which is sometimes compared to Halloween, so we want to address this spooky and dark theme by screening a horror movie.

“But we want to keep it a surprise, so I can’t give too much away. Also, we would love this project to last as long as possible, but we’ll have to see how it catches on. So please, be there, we would love to see you!”