I am a big fan of Czech movies. The Czech New Waves filmmakers are my favorite ones. I think Milos Forman or Jiri Menzel contributed a lot to my Eastern European identity and to the way I see and understand the world today. It is my culture. 

And over the last 25 years I missed very much something that can express this culture on the language of film. Ok, maybe there were many valuable and good art movies or locally broadcasted productions but it is part of the story that these movies never reach us. 

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to New York. For the first time in my life. And spite of the fact that I have never been there I had a feeling that I knew those streets, the city was familiar to me, simply because of the movies.

Isn't it ironic that we usually know tiny details from New York or Chicago just because of the tons of movies coming from there but we hardly know anything about our own neighbour country?  Or about our own country's countryside. 

The Czech Pustina is an HBO drama and I have to admit that HBO has done a great job how to combine commercial needs with a sort of depth that brings back the special favour of Czech movies and Eastern Europen movies in general. And it is very important, that all this happens on one of the largest cable TV networks and not only in exclusive art movies or film festivals reaching a handful of people only. 

We need it. We build something in the "new Europe" that needs continuous (self)reflection. Films, cinema, movies are the best tools for that. I am thankful to HBO that they started to create new, local production instead of invading us with a next wave of Hollywood movies. Later I will also write about the Hungarian Aranyélet or the Romanian Umbre, which are also local HBO productions opening new tendencies to the Eastern European filmmaking scene. 

"Pustina tells a story that goes to the heart of the economic and social challenges facing communities in the new Europe," said Antony Root, London-based executive vp programming and production for HBO Europe. "It is also a page-turning mystery. We believe both the story and its themes will resonate strongly with our audiences." (source)

Indeed, it resonated.....

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