Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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This somber docudrama is nuanced in its handling of period and the central female characters, but its vilification of communist authority figures is so obvious that it occasionally comes off as condescending.
I saw this at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. Czechoslovakia in the 1980s does not look so far in the past. Young Anna (Judit Bárdos) trains and competes to join in the Olympic Games from behind the Iron Curtain. She is pressured to take steroids to maintain an edge in competition. Her mother, Irena, was also an Olympic hopeful in gymnastics, so Irena knows of the "sacrifices" made to win as well as the risky opportunity that getting out of the country for the games presents for escaping the country permanently. There are many murky ethical considerations between daughter, mother (Geislerová), and track coach (Luknár). The right thing to do is not as clear as you might think when seeing the advantages and costs granted to those choosing to cheat and those trying to play fair. Young love, an absent father, who has already broke free of the Iron Curtain, and suspicious government agents complicate matters further. The cast is strong overall, however, Judit as Anna was a bit too bland. True she is a focused athlete, but I found myself wishing she showed more passion for something.
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