When it’s raining in Prague on a Sunday afternoon, then best you could do is going to see a movie. That is how I decided to see Milos Forman’s Goya‘s Ghosts, and I also invited myself for a coffee ina cosy coffee shop near the theater, where it is easy to sit and talk about the movie. But I had no idea what was waiting for me.
I spent the next two hours in a whirlwind of beautiful images and horrible scenes that made me run home and right in bed… but the sleep didn‘t come. I saw many of the scenes several times at night – colors, music and props, everything was in the right place, it gave sense – there was just one mistake – the beatiful film couldn‘t be stopped and I was waiting for the final titles on the screen in vain. You know, real beatuy always brings pain and pleasure together. It brings a mixed feeling you want it to go forever, while you want it to stop right away.
Goya‘s Ghosts is a wonderful and horrifing story. I am glad I was able to see it but God knows I would remember the details for a long time. Those details recalled many other films by MiloÅ¡ Forman. There are also many beautiful human types acting as in every film of his. His latest film, Goya’s Ghosts is also very tough and you could see that the director had no illusions left about how people could be cruel to each other. What I appreciated a lot was the individual life of a painter sketched on the background of the merciless times. Methods of Spanish inquisition reminded me of the communist regime. Some years ago I visited an old cloister where the communist secret service had a room where they tortured their prisoners. By the time I entered the room it was empty for many years – but it was full of unspoken horror and suffering. In my sleepless night I could also see the beautiful city of Sarajevo in the times of the Balkan conflict. Goya‘s ghosts are very powerful and relentless creatures I must say.
Forman‘s film confronted me with old hidden anxieties and feelings of being so helpless face to face fanatism and war. Realistic message of this film for me was that even brilliant intelligence and wealth wouldn‘t open the gates of totalitarian dungeon.
But there is hope for an artist like Goya. He can paint the ghosts and give them a real shape and form that survive centuries. Art helps to overcome unjustice and sorrow that is the inevitable part of human‘s history. Deaf painter is grateful for being able to see and capture all sides of his times – the horrible ones and also the beautiful ones.
MiloÅ¡ Forman‘s film is an unforgetable experience in every aspect. Though it evokes sad and painful memories it assures you that life and beauty are immortal.
Yours truly, Kristina
Dr. Kristina Èerná is Psychologist and a poet with a love for all kinds of art forms, including cinema – Goya’s Ghost will be released in US by Samuel Goldwyn Films in July 2007.