Friday, 23 March 2012
Diamonds of the Night 
Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Nemec, best known for the brilliant absurdist and satirical comedy Party and the Guests, made his debut with the surrealistic Diamonds of the Night. Not the most accessible or easy to watch film that one comes across, appraising it is a challenging proposition on account of the experimental narrative choices made by Nemec. Though adapted from a novel, the movie was completely stripped of even an iota of conventionality while showing two young men on the run, presumably form a train bound for the Auschwitz concentration camp, from their Nazi captors. During their excruciatingly harrowing run, the two exhausted and starving guys get food (and probably betrayal too) from a farmer’s wife, and are eventually caught by a gang of aged and seemingly jocund men. Shot mostly with hand-held camera and in grainy black-and-whites, and nearly bereft of dialogues, the movie has a certain here and now feel to it, despite the bare minimalism of its content and portrayal. Further, the journey of the two boys has, at regular intervals, been interspersed with various small snippets which are an odd, and at times bizarre and indecipherable mixture of flashbacks, their memories and their underlying thought processes. Arguably the most memorable aspect of the movie would have to be the aforementioned gang of endearing and gaggling old men who might be an underhanded reference to Gestapo officers, and the ambiguous climax too. As understandable, watching this would require patience and effort despite its rather crisp length.
Director: Jan Nemec
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/War/Experimental Film
Country: Czech Republic (erstwhile Czechoslovakia)