REVIEW FROM THE PRAGUE INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY FILM FESTIVAL
Beyond her lens is a short film about a woman, who saw first-hand what the word WAR means. Jana Andert is really interesting figure in Czech docu-film history and she will be greatly remembered. With her struggles after coming home from Mosul, Iraq, captures this film. And we really see Beyond her lens.
Alex, portrayed by Lucie Vondráčková, comes back after capturing terrors of war in Mosul, Iraq. She thinks she is over it, but her experiences changed her forever. She is traumatised by events that happened to her and she is really sad, she feels like she can't help anyone there.
Lucie Vondráčková was amazing. The audience will empathise with her immediately. I have never seen someone play broken woman play like she did, only with micro-expressions and her eyes. This performace was amazing.
Camerawork is also great. Slow and long pandering shots in her bedroom, quick and lively camera in the battlefield following a young boy. Some unsettling shots, which made amazing atmosphere. And the lighting! Our “normal” world was so cold, but lights were warm not her. All color was back when we saw shots from the war-zone.
Editing was great as well. Shots were purposefully, when they needed to, short when they had to. Nothing in the editing made me question decisions of the editor/director.
Sound design was great, for modest budgeted film might be a problem, but it was masterful. This film in the theatre must sound amazing and I wish I could see this not only on my headphones! Direction of this film was great. Tereza Hirsch managed to strip such a complex story to it's bones and still packed it with emotion. No time is wasted in this film, no unnecessary dialogue, or cutaway shot.
This film is an emotional journey and in the end, the audience might feel terrible. Not because this film is bad, but because it's great an the emotion is so real.
29th May 2020
Prague International Monthly Film Festival