Pavel Branko,  STRATY A NÁLEZY 1948 - 1998.
Bratislava 1999 
ISBN 80-85182-52-1

This publication of a beautiful selection of articles on film as an art form and film as a means of intervention in our societies covers the work of a life-time, or almost so. Pavel Branko, a film critic and translator, was born April 27, 1921 in Czechoslovakia. A member of  the antifascist Resistance and, after his arrest, a political prisoner, he welcomed the liberation of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army in 1945.  Always a humanist with a strong awareness of the social dimensions of art, he was soon disillusioned by the day-to-day reality of "real socialism". As a consequence, he "gave up any attempt to publish film criticism" between 1952 and 1955, and "reverted to the business of translation" instead.  In the sixties, known as the period of the Czechoslovak film miracle, he eagerly took part in the movement and lived the most productive time of his life.  He took part in the Prague Spring in 1968 and shared many of the hopes invested in the "socialism with a human face" then proclaimed.  Subsequently "blacklisted as a film publicist," he tried, until 1975, to write about noteworthy motion pictures anonymously. Several of these articles were published with the help of friends who "loaned" their names... After 1975 he did not see a possibility to keep on writing; this time the fact that he was again blacklisted outlawed his activities as a translator as well,  and so he retired. After 1989 he returned to film publicism. Already in his eighties now, Pavel Branko is still actively engaged in the business of film criticism.  (AW)




Copyright of the scanned pages:  © 1999 by Pavel Branko