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The Line

(Čiara)
Slovakia/Ukraine 2017. Dir: Peter Bebjak. 112 min. DCP

In 2007, the Slovak Republic joined the European Union, making its border with Ukraine one of the most heavily guarded and scrutinized in all of Europe. In Peter Bebjak’s brawny, breakneck crime thriller — for which he was named Best Director at Karlovy Vary — Slovakia's lawless borderland in the lead-up to EU accession sets the stage for a family saga that takes inspiration from archetypes The Godfather and The Sopranos. Adam, operating on the Slovak side of the frontier, is the leader of a gang of smugglers funneling contraband into the EU. Disciplined and high-principled, Adam maintains a strict separation between his two worlds: one criminal, one familial. That coexistence is shaken with the news of his daughter’s engagement to a Ukrainian gangster’s son, and the appearance of narcotics on the border, a cargo Adam refuses to traffic. Emília Vášáryová (Eva Nová, EUFF 2016) plays the family matriarch. In Slovak and Ukrainian with English subtitles.