Such Is Life (Takový je život)

Carl Junghans, Czechoslovakia, 1929, 63MIN, Silent with English intertitles


Carl Junghans’s naturalistic portrait of working-class Prague was among the strongest Czech films of the 1920s. The film captures the tragic story of an aging laundress whose drudgery and toil support a licentious and abusive alcoholic husband. A psychological drama with social themes, it draws from Émile Zola’s novel The Kill, and took a progressive approach to montage, with emphasis on the symbolic power of close-ups. The international cast includes Valeska Gert, typically uninhibited in a featured role as the provocative waitress who takes up with the movie’s loutish protagonist. This new digital restoration features an electronic musical score by Czech musician Jan Burian.

Introduction by J. Hoberman, film critic and author.

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Walter Reade Theater

Carl Junghans