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March 3, 2011

Making the 'Most' out of a Short Film

Acclaimed Czech film, now out on DVD, tells a moving, redemptive story

The wonderful news is that Most, an acclaimed 2003 short film from Czechoslovakia that was nominated for an Academy Award, is at last going to get a bigger audience, thanks to the efforts of Provident Films. It's a soul-stirring film (its titled means "The Bridge" in English), with a lot of story packed into its 33 minutes. It just came out on DVD this week, and I highly recommend it.

The not-so-good news is the way Provident is promoting it; I applaud them for marketing it to Christians -- with a ringing endorsement from Luis Palau, no less -- because it's a film with themes that will resonate with believers. But their synopsis and descriptions give so much away that the viewer can guess the outcome long before it happens. I had not seen the film until Provident sent me a screener, and looked forward to viewing it. But I knew within 10 minutes how it was going to end, thanks to Provident's descriptions.

You could learn more about the film at Provident's site here, but if you're serious about watching it, I'd avoid reading much about it there. I'd even avoid the trailer there, which also gives too much away. The best advice is to go into this film "cold" -- or, as our critic Ron Reed put it in his review eight years ago, "To reveal much at all of a story this concise and beautifully constructed would be to rob the viewer of some of the film's greatest power."