Description: The uncompromising director Věra Chytilová, well-known for her harshly mocking attacks on people’s failings and foibles, has created a new filmic parable on human weakness with Vyhnání z ráje (Expulsion from Paradise, 2001), her most recent film. Although fully within the Chytilová tradition of biting moral fable, the film has had a lukewarm reception from Czech and international critics.
The main story of Vyhnání z ráje concerns Rosta, a film director (Bolek Polívka), who is shooting a film at a nudist beach. Everyone in the film crew has different ideas about the genre and style of the film being shot: The director tries to create an artistic work, an experimental metaphor about Adam and Eve; the Russian producer Igor (Milan Šteindler) hopes to see an erotic lovestory produced; and the screenwriter (played by theatre director and dramatist J A Pitínský) aims to express his positive philosophy about humanity through the film.
The fictive film within the film is called Paradiso, but it seems more like a hell than paradise. Monstrous naked bodies lie on the beach as if in a tableau from the apocalypse. We watch the director in a state of personal crisis. He experiences misunderstandings with his wife (played by French actress and Polívka’s ex-wife Chantal Poullain) and also complications in the relationship with his lover (who is the daughter of Paradiso’s producer and also happens to be the film’s lead actress). The respective stories of each character in Vyhnání z ráje do not add up to a coherent unit but rather make up a mosaic that Chytilová uses to create a picture of moral decline.