A young teacher leaves the Prague school where he works alongside his mother and takes a job in a village school. The shy newcomer is offered a room by Marie, a young widow with a 17-year-old son. While Marie likes the idea of living with a man again, the teacher is more reserved. But he is growing very fond of her son. When he makes advances to the sleeping boy, the teacher’s “secret” can no longer be concealed. To make things worse, an ex-lover arrives for an unexpected visit...
Tackling a subject that can be viewed as semi-taboo in Czech cinema still, the director takes a sensitive approach to the young intellectual’s homosexuality, aided by his actor of preference Pavel Liška’s finely rendered depiction of a confused individual unable to face up to his sexual inclinations and permanently running away from himself. At the same time, Sláma is careful to resist the temptation to depict the teacher as purely the victim of intolerant (village) society. The teacher is condemned to become an outsider precisely because of his initial inability to be candid and open.
The film attracted some 200,000 viewers in the Czech Republic – renewed evidence of how young Czech film has come of age and is constantly seeking new themes.
35mm | Farbe / colour
Martin Mička, Václav Novák, Petr Pištěk
Pavel Liška, Zuzana Bydžovská, Ladislav Šedivý, Marek Daniel, Tereza Voříšková, Miloš Černoušek, Marie Ludvíková, Miroslav Krobot, Zuzana Kronerová
Pallas Film, Why Not Productions, Česká televize, ZDF-Arte
Pallas Film GmbH
Mansfelder Str. 56
Tel: +49.345.678 73 23
Fax: +49.345.678 73 25
Bohdan Sláma - born in Opava, Czech Republic, in 1967. He graduated from the Prague FAMU film school in 1997. His short film ZAHRÁDKA RÁJE won several prizes at student film festivals, and his diploma film AKÁTY BÍLÉ went on general release. DIVOKÉ VČELY, his first full-length feature, won awards at several international film festivals.
ŠTVANICE (1992, short)
ZAHRÁDKA RÁJE (1994, short)
AKÁTY BÍLÉ (1996)
DIVOKÉ VČELY (2001, Main Prize, Cottbus 2002)
ŠTĚSTÍ (2005, FIPRESCI Prize, Cottbus 2005)