Weekend at Brno
By Alyssa Ostrout, Bryant University
A bit of a disclaimer....the title of this post is a little
misleading. The trip I've come back from today only started at Brno, and we
were only there for a few hours. However, I couldn't think of a good pun for
Jihlava, the place we spent most of the weekend, so I've been forced to settle.
As I've stated the trip began at Brno, where we got a tour of the student-run radio station called Radio R. The students that met with us were friendly, and they even let us do our own broadcasts! And I'll tell you what, if being famous means answering questions on Czech radio for about three minutes then I WAS SO TOTALLY FAMOUS.
After that we traveled to the small town of Jihlava, about three or so hours south of Prague. The town was holding a the Jihlava Documentary Film Festival this weekend, and we had the pleasure of attending. The first movie I attended was Saturday afternoon, and I have to say it kicked off the festival in both a negative and a positive way. To start with the positive first, the film was very well done. I don't know really how to explain what I want to say about it at this moment, so I'll just try the best that I can. While I was watching this film, I didn't feel like I thought I would while watching a documentary. Usually I can respect a documentary, but don't find it very engaging. This one was about a very serious topic, and yet it was very engaging and moving. Now for the negative part: as I hinted about in the last thought, the topic of the film was very heavy and it was definitely a strong downer for the start of the day. It was about the United States middle class, and how the middle class has been struggling more than ever in the economy. People who have never really had to worry about being able to put food on the table are no longer able to feed their families. Granted this wasn't really any new information, but it's hard to hear stories of a family's struggles. No one deserves to be put through hardships such as this.
I spent the rest of Saturday in three more films, some of which were definitely better than others but I don't necessarily regret going to any of them. To close the weekend, we took a tour of a brewery, which was a very cool experience. I've never toured a brewery before, and never would have guessed all the work that goes into making one batch. (Now normally this would be the time where I share a little fun fact that I learned about brewing beer...but unfortunately I don't remember anything. That's always been a problem for me in tours, I could be the most attentive one in the group and still not be able to remember a single thing merely two minutes after the spiel was over. Long story short I should never compete in any trivia-based game shows. My dream of being a Jeopardy star ends here I'm afraid).
And last but not least I have some photographic evidence to share with you! Enjoy and feel free to be jealous.