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Slovak Studies Program

Martin Votruba


Half-Life of Decay







The clip starts with Mia (Táňa Pauhofová, b. 1983) putting a make-shift bandage on Viktor's (Ján Kroner, b. 1956) leg after he was bitten by her dog (Sheila, b. 2006). The dialogue-based sequence rehashes the theme of a generational gap in condensed clichéd lines (adults labeled as restrictive, woes of a loveless childhood in wealth) that culminate with Viktor's inference of the obvious. The screenplay then closes the gap by turning the college student Mia, who has a Goth boyfriend, and the married prosperous business owner Viktor into lovers, a plot complication that builds on the perennial snag that Mia is the daughter of Viktor's old friend.
With ticket sales more than 4-times higher than any other domestic film released in 2007, Half-Life of Decay (Polčas rozpadu, dir. Vlado Fischer, b. 1962; available with subtitles in Hillman Library) became Slovakia's most successful production from that year. Indicative of the market domination by foreign films, though, ticket sales for Half-Life of Decay, high by comparison to the rest of the domestic production, reached barely 10% of the audiences for any of the most successful imports, and Slovak films made up for less than 3% of all the releases in 2007, one of the more productive years for the country's cinema.



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