Cinema Simply Different

In a daze, a young physicist named Prokop staggers through Prague, only repeatedly stammering something about an explosion and «Krakatit». Jiří – a friend of Prokop’s – picks him up and has him treated. In a feverish frenzy, he hallucinates the discovery of the explosive called Krakatit and reveals the formula, which is then seized by Jiří. One day he learns from the newspaper that Carson – an armaments contractor – is promoting Krakatit. The tug-of-war over Prokop’s knowledge of the new material begins and reveals people’s greed, delusion and thirst for power, indifferent to the danger posed by Krakatit.


The novel by Karel Čapek – the inventor of the word robot – from 1922 proved to be visionary in view of the nuclear danger that arose with the invention of the atom bomb twenty years later. Otakar Vávra filmed the explosive material shortly after the first atomic bomb tests and the beginning of the nuclear arms race. Krakatit captivates the viewer with its nightmarish yet beautifully designed images. A warning against the first technology, which could mean the destruction of all mankind, and to science to become aware of its responsibility.


Alexander Streb, translated by Carlos Hartmann

Other films in this program