Directed by Jan Hrebyk
Written by Petr Jarchovsky
Starring Lenka Vlasakova, Milan Milulcik, Martin Huba, Anonin Kratochvil

This is the third film from Jan Hrebyk, a Czech director, which I have been fortunate enough to see. And for me, it is truly his best. It has much in common with The Lies of Others, a German film of a few years back.

Plot: Kawasaki’s Rose is a complex and complicated story about family, Eastern European politics during the Cold War and after, jealousy, and especially the various forms betrayal can take.

Pavel, a distinguished psychiatrist is about to receive an award for his life’s work and his role as a dissident during the Cold War. His wife participated in his anti-Communist stance and was, in fact, interrogated by the secret police. Their years as dissidents were not easy ones but they are now esteemed members of Czech society.
But Ludek, his son-in-law, feeling underappreciated by his in-laws and working on a comprehensive documentary about Pavel, comes across documents that will destroy his father-in-law. Ludek’s betrayals are smaller than Pavel’s but equally inform the story. No one escapes the writer’s microscope, in fact. Every character has honorable moments but moments that will later them haunt them.

KAWASAKI’S ROSE looks at the way the past never let’s go of us. It was a brilliant film. (The title refers to a painting by a Japanese artist who is also haunted by his past).
Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in