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"Alois Nebel," Czech film, SIFF

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
AMC Pacific Place 11

Inspired by classic film noir and rendered in mesmerizing black-and-white rotoscope (à la Richard Linklater’s Waking Life), this dark-hearted Czech film traces the haunted memories and mysterious visions of a troubled train dispatcher through the shifting cultural and political landscape at the close of the Cold War. It’s the summer of 1989, shortly before the Berlin Wall comes down, and Alois Nebel is working as a train dispatcher at a small railway station in the mountainous region of Sudetenland on the Czechoslovakian border. Nebel, a loner who suffers from troubling hallucinations, is psychically stalked by ghosts from the dark past of this region, where harsh revenge was exacted on the German population after World War II. Unable to shake these nightmares, he eventually ends up in a sanatorium. When he recovers and is allowed to leave, Nebel finds things have changed dramatically outside. The Berlin Wall is gone, the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia has fallen, and he is without a job or a place to stay. Initially seeking help at the Prague railway headquarters, Nebel ultimately returns to the mountains to fight through the ghostly miasma that has haunted him for so long.