In 1913, Czech ski star Bohumil Hanč competed against a German opponent in what was to become a legendary ski race in the Giant Mountains. It was a question not only of sport, but also national honour. When a tragic incident occurs after a sudden change in the weather, a special role is reserved for German-Bohemian athlete Emmerich Rath in this by no means equivocal historical panorama rich in suspenseful sporting action, set to the backdrop of a fascinating mountain landscape.
The ČSSR in 1959. A quirky fellow finds work as a stoker in a mountain hut: In his early 80s, vegetarian, barefoot despite the solid blanket of snow, and to top it all off he’s German. The tenants, themselves having been banished to the mountains, are afraid: what if someone finds out that they are employing a German? The stranger is the sporting all-rounder Emmerich Rath. The swimmer, football and ice hockey player, wrestler and endurance athlete mostly competed for Czech teams and was furthermore known to be an individual willing to risk his life for others: During the German occupation he hid a Jewish friend in his sports shop. After World War II, he fell out of favour with the communist authorities, who accused him of "Americanism", and was forced to eke out a living as a casual labourer. His story was filmed in Czechoslovakia in 1956 in a work entitled "Sons of the Mountains". Tomáš Hodan's most recent film not only pays tribute to an unusual athlete, but also reflects on the fault lines characteristic of Czech-German relations from the eve of the First World War though to the Cold War.
Weltspiegel: Original version with English subtitles + German simultaneous translation. Kammerbühne/Serienlounge: original version with English subtitles
Jan Baset Střítežský
Anna Johnson Ryndová
Kryštof Hádek, Marek Adamczyk, Oldřich Kaiser, Judit Bárdos, Jan Nedbal, Cyril Dobrý