66 Seasons

"66 Seasons" is a genially eccentric docu about nearly seven decades of social and political change swirling about an eastern Slovak public swimming pool. Though full of fascinating sociological insight, pic feels more suited as a dip for fests and cablers than for any kind of theatrical splash.

“66 Seasons” is a genially eccentric docu about nearly seven decades of social and political change swirling about an eastern Slovak public swimming pool. Though full of fascinating sociological insight, pic feels more suited as a dip for fests and cablers than for any kind of theatrical splash.

Aside from the local pub, the community pool may be the most reliable barometer of mood, taste, history and fashion in that part of the world. Helmer Peter Kerekes’ hometown, Kosice, is the country’s second largest burg and home to a large recreational complex, designed by Hungarian Hugo Barkany in 1936. Supporting the theory that “history came to bathe” there, Kerekes presses his grandmother and other feisty oldsters into service as onsite oral historians. Recreations of their teenaged strategies for attracting members of the opposite sex mix amusingly with graver stories of World War II and the 1968 Soviet invasion. Co-founder with Slovak docu legend Dusan Hanak of a new production enterprise, Kerekes is never less than respectful toward his subjects, one who avows “I believe that film can preserve time.” On tech level, faux home movie visual style grows taxing.

66 Seasons

Slovakia-Czech Republic

Production: A Czech TV release (in the Czech Republic) of a Peter Kerekes (Bratislava)/Czech TV (Prague)/Slovak TV (Kosice) production. (International sales: Peter Kerekes, Bratislava.) Produced by Kerekes. Directed, written by Peter Kerekes.

Crew: Camera (color), Martin Kollar; editor, Marek Sulik; music, Marek Piacek. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 10, 2003. Original title: 66 sezon. Slovak, Hungarian dialogue. Running time: 84 MIN.

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