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26 May 2019 - 29 May 2019

... and the Fifth Horseman Is Fear - Ester Krumbachová: Unknown Master of the Czechoslovak New Wave

Czech Center New York and Film at Lincoln Center present the work of the Czech costume and set designer, scriptwriter, and director Ester Krumbachová.


Sunday, May 26, 6:30PM (for tickets click here)
Wednesday, May 29, 6:30PM (for tickets click here)

Francesca Beale Theater at Lincoln Center

SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy $3 off tickets to Film at Lincoln Center's Ester Krumbachova retrospective—tickets just $12. To redeem: Select the desired showtime at filmlinc.org/krumbachova and enter promo code “Czech2019" in the upper right box.

Costume design by Ester Krumbachová
Director: Zbyněk Brynych, 1964, 97 min, Czechoslovakia

"... and the Fifth Horseman Is Fear is such a nearly perfect film that it comes as a shock, in the last ten minutes, to discover how deeply involved you have become. In this sense, it resembles Fellini's 8 1/2. The technique itself is such a pleasure to observe that the emotion steals unnoticed into the back of your mind." (Roger Ebert, 1968)

One of the most treasured works of director Zbyněk Brynych reflects the efforts of filmmakers of the Czechoslovak New Wave to modify and augment the rather one-sided view of the period of Nazi occupation. This intimate expressionistic drama looks at the Protectorate era through the character of a Jewish doctor who tries to grasp his moral imperative in the bleak atmosphere that followed the assassination of the Nazi Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich. Braun is a modest hero, who finds it within himself to defy powerlessness, humiliation, and even his most dangerous foe – fear… With the possibility of aiding an injured member of the resistance, Braun has an opportunity to take revenge on the hated regime. The rational intellectual in him knows that his chances of survival are minimal. Despite the fact that he is under no illusions about his fate, he strives in inhumane times to remain true to his concept of humanity. However, the instinct for self-preservation and fear in all its possible forms corrupt the character of those who could help him – his neighbours from a Žižkov tenement… In the drama The Fifth Horseman is Fear, Zbyněk Brynych returned to the subject of Nazi occupation. Inspired by Hana Bělohradská’s literary script, along with his previous film A Convoy Leading Paradise (1962) he combines characters in a hopeless situation with sensitive work in black and white. Brynych embraced the subject of Nazism in a more spectacular form in the drama I, Justice (1967) when he tackled the theme of revenge against Nazi barbarism. One of the constants of the director’s work in the 1960s was the importance he placed on casting. This was also the case in this film in which Miroslav Macháček gives the performance of his life. Olga Scheinpflugová appears as a music teacher in her last film role. The director’s favourite collaborators also contribute to the impact of this film, namely the composer Jiří Sternwald and the cinematographer Jan Kališ. (National Film Archive)








Though Ester Krumbachová was considered by director Vera Chytilová to be the boldest personality of the Czechoslovak New Wave, her contributions to the movement have been largely overlooked. A costume and set designer, scriptwriter, and director, the multi-hyphenate artist shared her puckishly surreal and trenchant, radical vision with such trailblazing directors as Chytilová (Daisies), Karel Kachyna (The Ear), Jaromil Jires (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), and Jan Nemec (Diamonds of the Night). But shortly after making her directorial debut with the hilarious yet criminally underseen fantasy The Murder of Mr. Devil, she was blacklisted by the Czechoslovak Communist government. This May, the Czech Center New York looks back on Krumbachová’s singular imprint on the Czechoslovak New Wave, and reexamines some of the movements’ most beloved, important works in a new light. Presented in collaboration with the Film at Lincoln Center.


The Murder of Mr. Devil


The Ear

Fruit of Paradise

All My Compatriots

Diamonds of the Night

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Coach to Vienna

Long Live the Republic!


Francesca Beale Theater, Lincoln Center


From: 26 May 2019
To: 29 May 2019


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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