On the occasion of the publication of the historically first Korean translation of Karel Čapek’s novel Krakatit, the Czech Centre Seoul in cooperation with the Happy Reading Books publishing house and DAFilms platform, is screening a film of the same title made by Czech director Otakar Vávra in 1948. The film with English and Korean subtitles is screened on-line for free on an international platform DAFilms from Monday, December 14 to Sunday, December 20, 2020.
Otakar Vávra / Czechoslovakia / 1948 / 97 min. / drama, sci-fi / in Czech with English and Korean subtitles
Starring: Karel Höger, Miroslav Homola, František Smolík, Vlasta Fabianová, Florence Marly, Eduard Linkers, Nataša Tanská, Jiří Plachý, Bedřich Vrbský, Jaroslav Průcha
Krakatit is the name for an explosive that comes with unimaginably devastating consequences. It even scares its own inventor, an engineer named Prokop, however, many others see it as a long sought after instrument for absolute power. In the eponymous novel by Karel Čapek, which was published in 1924, Prokop’s experiments and their consequences were purely the visions of its creator. In comparison, the film adaptation, which was created shortly after the Second World War and the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was partially intended to clearly reflect actual events. In addition to the urgent moral appeal, the film still blows audiences away with its delirious atmosphere and the visual inventiveness of the realistic shots filmed on location and its fantastic scenes.
Otakar Vávra returned to the same theme during the normalization period. In 1980, the film Dark Sun was released as a loose adaptation of Krakatit, this time with visible connections to the context of the Cold War. However, it did not achieve nearly the impressiveness nor the popularity of the older version.
Perhaps even Karel Čapek himself had no idea when working on it that his work Krakatit was prophetic and that today, when the release of the destructive energy binding atoms ceased to be the stuff of fantasy, it has become almost extraordinarily relevant.
The film is screened in collaboration with an international VOD platform Dafilms focusing on European documentary and experimental films. The platform offers an access to an ever-expanding catalogue of over 2000 films with a monthly subscription only for 6 € or 6,99 USD or yearly subscription only for 60 € or 59,88 USD.