VIFF 2013 review: Burning Bush
Here’s an extremely rare chance to see veteran director Agnieszka Holland’s four-hour miniseries in one showing. She’s from Poland, and works all over Europe, but was a student in 1969 Prague, when young Jan Palach, protesting the Soviet occupation of his country, set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square. She gets the grim, complex feel of time and place just right, in a tale that follows the ensuing intrigue among students, police, lawyers, and government. Some viewers may be surprised at the amount of repetition taking up space; spread out over three nights on Czech TV, the overlap must have been much less noticeable. But it still works towards powerful and, glad to say, uplifting finish.
Centre, September 30 (1:30 p.m.); International Village, October 6 (6:30 p.m.)