HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  I, Olga Hepnarová Hate Breeds HateBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Petr Kazda, Tomás Weinreb
Stars: Michalina Olszanska, Martin Pechlát, Klára Melísková, Marika Soposká, Juraj Nvota, Martin Finger, Marta Mazurek, Ondrej Malý, Petra Nesvacilová, Ivan Palúch, Gabriela Mícová, Zuzana Stavná, Jan Novotny, Viktor Vrabec, Malwina Turek
Genre: Biopic
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Olga Hepnarová (Michalina Olszanska) was born in 1951 of a middle-class family in Czechoslovakia, but as she grew up she began to have difficulties fitting in, and became convinced her father was not her real father, at the same time despising her mother. Her parents recognised something was wrong and sent her to be psychiatrically assessed, which led to her failed suicide attempt on an overdose of her medication, but this was merely the start of a life of deep psychological pain. She was sent to a care home where she was beaten by the other girls there, and this sparked a huge resentment in her that she never shook off: the world was against Olga, and the world would pay.

If you have heard of this woman, then you will doubtless know why she is famous, or rather, infamous, which was thanks to a crime she committed when she was twenty-two years old. If you were unaware of what she did, then even watching this film's run up to the atrocity will have you suspecting this was not a tale with a happy ending, for as the product of an oppressive society that singled out Olga for bullying no matter where she went or how she tried to adapt, the chances were this would have a detrimental effect on her mind. What this wondered was whether it was psychosis that drove her to her ultimate actions or whether a pitiless society was responsible.

It could have been a combination of both, of course, but directors Petr Kazda and Tomás Weinreb adopted an observant, non-judgemental approach to their subject, so much so that you may be unsure if they sympathised with a woman barely responsible for her behaviour, or whether she knew precisely what she was doing and acted purely out of spite against those who victimised her. Yet actually, she didn't even do that, as her bullies were left entirely unscathed, it was a bunch of helpless innocents she meted out her punishment against just as she believed she was an innocent who had been singled out for rejection and ill-treatment by a community of emotional monsters.

Shot entirely in slate grey black and white, with barely a note of music heard (aside from a brief scene at a nightclub), Olga's lack of a stable, loving relationship appears to have been at the centre of her troubles, since she was a lesbian and though we see her having sexual encounters in curiously titillating scenes at odds with the icy chill of the rest of the film, there was no real presence in her life that could have righted her maladjustment and made her feel accepted. Sporting a Louise Brooks bob that was a more glamorous version than the real Olga's hairdo, chainsmoking Polish star Olszanska refused to pander to any sense of sympathy we may have discerned in the pre-incident plot, playing it prickly and sullen for the most part, aside from those all-too-short moments when she finds happiness.

This search for happiness could have been the focus of any biopic, as it is what most people do with their lives, but disturbingly I, Olga clearly indicated many are never happier than when they are makings others' existences a misery and suggested this was a part of human nature that desperately needed to be addressed. Olga is looked down on from a great height by those around her which gives her the motive to do the same, as self-esteem in these cases is supported by how much disdain and even actual abuse can be doled out: the anti-heroine is merely turning a mirror back on society and ordering it to take a long, hard look at itself. The horrible irony being, if she had simply committed suicide she would have garnered more sympathy, however hollow coming after the point it would have done any good, and the barbaric actions she undertakes instead will never have anyone thinking she was far too hard done by if that's what she was capable of. This the film was wholly aware of, and it's not as if the mainstream for whom it might make pause and think would seek it out anyway.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 417 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: