A Matter of Life and Death
(A Matter of Life and Death) Director: M. Powell - E. Pressburger, GB, 1946, English version / Czech subtitles, 104 min
Upon his return from a mission at the end of World War II, Peter Carter (David Niven), the commanding officer of an English bomber, is forced to jump out of a burning plane without a parachute. While the next world searches to locate him among the newly registered deceased pilots, the miraculously-saved young man manages to fall in love with an American radio operator named June (Kim Hunter). Representatives of the other world, however, don’t intend to give up without a fight, and Peter must now attempt, with the help of his friend turned defense attorney (Roger Livesey), to win a “stay of death” at a heavenly court. But in order to do so he must break the resistance of an American prosecutor famous for his hatred of the British. Focusing on Anglo-American relations, this extravagant allegorical story is a remarkable and now legendary example of Pressburger’s narrative talent spectacularly developed by Powell’s genius for unconventional and courageous direction. The imaginative romance about the strength of love and its delirium-inducing effect on the human mind is astonishing for its consummately modern visual effects from the workshop of cameraman and Technicolor specialist Jack Cardiff.