Search - The White Dove (aka Holubice) (1960) on DVD

The White Dove (aka Holubice) (1960)
The White Dove
aka Holubice
Director: Frantisek Vlacil
Genres: Indie & Art House
NR     2004     1hr 8min

Studio: Facets Multimedia Release Date: 02/10/2004


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Movie Details

Director: Frantisek Vlacil
Genres: Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House
Studio: Facets
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/17/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 8min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Czech, French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

C. Scanlon | among us humans | 07/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Read this Biblically and the metaphors come clear, from the Annunciation all the way through the Resurrection to the Ascension. Even Eden.

God the Creator and Father sends unto the Virgin the joyous Holy Spirit of Love through the image of a Dove, and she gratefully, graciously, finds life.

I can say that not as a spoiler but as an interpretation or even exegesis.

The Resurrection of the Holy Spirit brings us Life and consolation, joy and peace.

This story comes to you from so many levels that we must sit and see and discuss this over and over.

I have not included any spoilers in this review, as I have not touched upon the story of the hidden life of the Christ Child in Nazareth encountering the monumental issues of life, death, resurrection, love, eternal life, wholeness and wellness, etc. No mere summary here could in any way "spoil" the power of the presentation.

We should also remember this movie was strongly intended for the big screen ,covering the entire wall of a viewing room, rather than the small screen, and thus the screen sized close-ups of strong faces, the low angle shots, including of people walking directly by the camera, etc., must have been powerful in a way we, dulled, cannot begin to imagine today.

We see here a strong influence of Kurasawa's Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection - 3-Disc Remastered Edition. We see here Bergman, in particular the ineffable, incomprehensible but clearly present menace of Wild Strawberries - Criterion Collection. We even see here the later The Gospel According to St. Matthew of Pier Paolo Pasolini. SOme might even see echoed the more romanticist, far gentler yet similar French The Red Balloon. In the effective use of close-ups, ciaroscuro, and extreme low angle shots we may also sniff an influence of the cinematography from The Citizen Kane (Gold Edition Box Set). But mostly we see something entirely sui generis, and ever since unequalled in haunting beauty, symbolic power and unfathomable meaning.

Remember this made under the most primitive conditions with rudimentary tools pushed by the artist far beyond their capabilities, even through the use of over-exposures to produce graphics we still cannot equalwith our computers. Often we must stop and think: how did they do that? But most importantly must we explore the why. What message are we to see here and here in our hearts.

From the start an inexorable feeling of menace and danger fills the screen, driven home with the near minimalist music. We really fear for the safety of these children, and are repulsed by the evil of these adults who callously pursue their own interests. Somehow the eating of an apple at the beginning becomes a deeply evil, perverse and sexual act, as the doves are released from Belgium to their international homes, cast out of the Garden of Paradise. But then the same is true of the Holy Bible, in which the eating of the apple begins the tale of redemption and salvation culminating in the Resurrection.

Read this movie Biblically, and remember it comes from Czeckoslavakia of the early Sixties, and the political and religious significance of this fact. This is the most religious film you may find, and yet by necessity the most subtle in symbol and thus powerful.

Tell me your reaction to the old man sitting by an empty bird cage remembering, receiving the gift of a dove. Tell me your reaction to the final still image. Tell me the row of old men, one with great and biblical and mosaic beard, seated upon the Baltic dock awaiting the arrival of their doves, do not resemble a row of Michelangelo's Old Testament prophets awaiting like Simeon the coming of the Lord.

What is most stricking in our obese and well fed hour is how thin and famished everyone looks, in particular the central figure. Such thinness was "normal" then: look at the contemporary Ocean's 11, even, and compare that with today's. Folks were doing other things than consuming!

This movie is a true journal of our souls journey to salvation. Please "read" it, and you will not be sorry. You will see what a true artist can do with the most basic of tools, including the wash of paint upon glass. I cannot recommend this old film enough to you, my dear friend."
WHERE IS Marketa?
R. J MOSS | Alice Springs, Australia | 02/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Another reviewer is similarily undeterred and bemused by the absence of the Vlacil film, 'Marketa Lazarova', rated in the late 90s by Czech film buffs as the greatest film made in their country. Not bad for an early 60s effort. However, in that context, the Czech's were leaders in cinema and we, in Australia were only just recognizing the fact when the Communist era closed down that probing edge that we witness in masterpieces like Marketa. It's the only one of his films I have seen, and it inevitably will draw comparisons with Tarkovsy's, Rubelov, and not merely for its black and white treatment of a medieval tale. The intensity of each image, each frame is utterly thrilling, so much so that the, at times, convoluted if not confusing narrative, can be shelved as the power and pleasures of the photography seize you. Wonderful. Mine is issued by 'Second Run DVD' a fact that 'Sight & Sound' magazine recently promoted."