Review: ‘Left, Right, Forward!’

Amy Sherman-Palladino

"Left, Right, Forward!" is a portrait of the youthful agitator as a product of 17 years of local freedom.

A field guide to the modern Czech fringe activist on both sides of hustings, frosh helmer Linda Jablonska’s “Left, Right, Forward!” is a fast-paced portrait of the youthful agitator as a product of 17 years of local freedom. This FAMU graduation project is a natural fit for niche fests and those curious about the culture, with tube sales and vid campaigns to follow.

“It’s all down to democratic dialogue,” gushes a 60-year-old newsreel on Communist-held Czechoslovak elections, prior to the campaign’s foregone conclusion. Pic then shifts to a half-dozen or so young members of diametrically opposed contempo political camps in the southern Moravian political hub of Brno, the subsequently banned Communist Youth Union and more capitalist-leaning Young Conservatives. As much about style as substance, their ideological differences seem less important in the scheme of things than membership in a tightly knit group while freely expressing them. Jablonska maintains a dryly distanced tone throughout, with her cameras revealing the earnest congresses and stiff social balls, featuring door prizes of embroidered pillows and sausages. Tech package sports omnipresent cameras. Pic won domestic docu prizes at Olomouc and Jihlava.

Left, Right, Forward!

Czech-Republic

Production

An Aerofilms release (in the Czech Republic) of a Negativ, FAMU production. (International sales: Negativ, Prague.) Produced by Milan Kuchynka. Directed, written by Linda Jablonska.

Crew

Camera (color, Beta SP), David Cysar; editor, Jakub Voves; music, Richard Salay; sound, Ivan Horak. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Czech Films 2006-2007), July 1, 2007. Running time: 72 MIN.

With

Veronika Sykorova, David Pazdera, Jan Sevcik, Marek Nemeth, Jiri Klindera, Jan Strelicka.
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