After two documentaries, two dramas, and a comedy that may have been a tragedy, I felt I needed to see a political thriller. I made an excellent choice.
A Walking Too Fast. Set in Communist Czechoslovakia before the Velvet Revolution, Radim Spacek’s taut thriller provides one of the best villains I’ve seen in a long time: a secret policeman who’s turning from an efficient monster into an out-of-control one (Ondřej Mal). Early on, you sympathize with him even as he horrifies you. But as he becomes obsessed with a beautiful redhead sleeping with a adulterous and irresponsible dissident (no one comes off as a saint here), the sympathy quickly runs away. He’s scary enough to make you root (temporarily) for the other secret policemen. It plays again on Monday, May 2, at the Pacific Film Archive.