Slovakia has selected Martin Sulik’s tragic war comedy The Interpreter to represent it in the Foreign Language Oscar race.
The film, directed by Gypsy director Sulik, stars Toni Erdmann’s Peter Simonischek and Jiří Menzel. Menzel stars as 80-year-old translator Ali Ungár, who comes across a book written by a former SS officer recounting his war experiences in Slovakia. Ali realises that one of the chapters may well describe his own parents’ execution. And so, armed with a pistol, he sets off to Vienna to look for the SS man and take his revenge. But once there, the only person he encounters is the man’s 70-year-old son Georg, a former teacher played by Simonischek, who has spent his whole life avoiding his father and suffering from an addiction to alcohol.
The translator’s visit arouses Georg’s curiosity and he decides to invite Ali on a trip through Slovakia. But whilst Georg is out to have a good time, Ali is hoping to find out how his parents really died. Gradually, these two very different men begin to warm to each other and together, they discover a country that would prefer to forget about its past.
It is produced by Titanic, Coop99 Filmproduktion and In Film Praha.
Last year, the country selected Peter Bebjak’s The Line to represent it. The film, which is sold globally by Celluloid Dreams, had its world premiere earlier this year at the Berlinale Special.