Derviş Zaim’s Prague

DIRECTOR DERVİŞ ZAİM HAS WON WORLDWIDE ACCLAIM FOR HIS LATEST FILM, SHADOWS AND FACES. WE TALKED WITH HIM ABOUT HIS BELOVED PRAGUE.

When did you first call Prague your city?
My wife and I lived briefly in Prague at the end of the 1990’s.  The River Vlata, the island, the century-old trees, the theater building and the city’s relatively unspoiled texture deeply affected me.

To what sort of film is Prague most suited?
Prague exudes a certain peace that stems from its climate, its history, and its legendary writers and architecture. But it wouldn’t be right to emphasize that peacefulness without adding the quintessential Czech sense of humor into the equation. Any film that sees that reflects the soul of the city. Milos Forman’s Cerny Petr wouldn’t be a bad choice either.

Prague in summer… What’s it like?
Boat tours on the river, the music venues, the open-air cinemas, Charles Bridge… Prague is a vibrant city full of surprises in summer. The city’s museums are fabulous. Not only that but you can always discover a tiny gallery in one of the picturesque nearby towns and see a painting by Kokoschka.

What are some of the lesser known about Prague?
I discovered that the cafe opposite the National Theater was once a meeting place of Prague intellectuals. Even Nazım Hikmet was a regular there. You can go to the area around Novy Svet Street near the castle and the house where Kafka is thought to have lived to get a taste of the atmosphere that surrounded the writer. I would also recommend the church whose interior is made of human bones, the movie theaters where you can eat and drink while you watch the film, the classical concert halls and the puppet shows.