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Milena

  • Drama
  • 1990
  • Véra Belmont
  • 139 mins

Summary

Prague, 1920. Milena's father wants her to follow in his footsteps and be one of the first female doctors in Czechoslovakia, but she is determined to be a writer. She elopes to Vienna with the Jewish music critic Ernst Pollak, and starts a correspondence with Franz Kafka. She leaves Pollak and returns to Prague with her father, where she befriends and translates Kafka. As a journalist, Milena covers the 1923 Ruhr worker's strike and meets the communist architect Jaromir. They marry and have a daughter. Milena writes for a Marxist paper till her husband leaves for the Soviet Union. She then confronts the rise of Nazism in the years leading up to the Second World War, and ends up in a concentration camp.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Those familiar with Valérie Kaprisky solely as Richard Gere's co-star in Breathless will be overwhelmed by the way she comports herself in this biography of Milena Jesenka, the communist confidante of Franz Kafka whose outspoken journalism resulted in her incarceration by the Nazis in Ravensbruck concentration camp. For all its evident admiration for its subject, however, Véra Belmont's film spends too much time gazing on the gorgeous costumes and conducting intellectual debates that neither engross nor provoke. The sequences in Vienna, where Milena lived with music critic Ernst Pollack, are particularly decorative, but the later politicised scenes have more passion.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Milena JesenkaValérie Kaprisky
Franz KafkaPhilip Anglim
PolakPeter Gallagher
OlgaGudrun Landgrebe
JesenskiStacy Keach
JaromirNick Mancuso

Crew

rolename
DirectorVéra Belmont
DirectorVéra Belmont

Details

Languages
English
Formats
Colour
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