Jiri Menzil’s film I Served the King of England has won the critics prize at the Berlin Film Festival. The Czech/Slovak production tells the story of Jan Dite an ambitious waiter growing up in 30’s 40’s Prague whose rampant ambition means he joins the Nazi cause and passes himself off as a German.
Following the end of the Second World War he is imprisoned then sent to an abandoned Czech village where German residents were expelled after the war. Through a series of flashbacks the protagonists colourful life in those turbulent times forms the bulk of the movie. Menzil’s film offers no indication of what is right or wrong but simply presents the action as a picture of life as it is.
And David Mackenzie’s UK film Hallem Foe has also been aired at the Festival. Based on Peter Jink’s novel and set in Scotland it’s a twisted Freudian adventure, the film centers on Hallam Foe, a teenage voyeur who desires his step-mother until he becomes convinced that she murdered his mother. He leaves home when she seduces him and begins a feral life in the rooftops of Edinburgh until he spots and becomes obsessed with a girl who looks just like his mother