Section: Spectrum



Zdeněk Jiráský
CZ/SK, 2021, 101 Min

Notes from no man's land. Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s. Young Kryštof lives in a monastery and brings refugees across the border into neighboring Bavaria. At some point however he himself becomes the hunted. In a state of uncertainty between (nightmarish) dreams and reality, this work explores the landscapes of the soul present in Czechoslovakia after the communist takeover, torn as they were between the will to survive and repression, solidarity and betrayal, and the decision of whether to take flight or stay.

"'Kryštof' is the story of a boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was looking for his place in the world," says director Zdeněk Jiráský about his film. "It's also a reminder of Action K and the ill-fated 1950s, a time when people in Czechoslovakia became prisoners of their own country." With "Action K," Klement Gottwald’s government violently cracked down on the Catholic Church; hundreds of monks were arrested, numerous monasteries were closed. Kryštof headed to the monastery mainly due to conflicts with his father and fear of the Stalinist regime. A past that he is confronted with anew on the odyssey that is set in motion after his role in helping others to escape is exposed: the difficult relationship with his father, the fear of traitors in his own ranks and how he engages with the Germans in his homeland, the aggressors of yesteryear and victims of today... It is only shortly after leaving his family and the end of the war that Kryštof finds refuge with, of all people, his father in what was once a German village – but not for long.

Text: Bernd Buder
English: Peter Rickerby

Stadthalle: original version with English subtitles + German simultaneous translation

Kammerbühne: original version with English subtitles + German simultaneous translation

Josef Kurz
Michal Černý, Laco Kraus
Michal Džadoň
Radoslav Dubravský
Milan Býček
Katarína Máliková
Mikuláš Bukovjan, Dávid Uzsák, Alexandra Borbély, Marek Geišberg, Peter Šimun, David Punčochář, Marek Pospíchal, Luboš Veselý, Vladimír Hauser, Marián Mitaš, Stanislav Majer, Ondřej Malý, Éva Bandor
Marian Urban, Olga Raitoralová
Czech Television, RTVS – Radio and Television of Slovakia, UNFILM, Barrandov Studio, Framehouse, FSS Production
Zdeněk Jiráský

Zdeněk Jiráský - (*1969) Zdeněk Jiráský was born ON 24 January 1969 in Jičín. He gradueted at the Department of Screenwriting and Dramaturgy, FAMU 2004. For years, he worked mainly on documentary films for the Czech Television, where he produced a number of intriguing pictures (FEARLESSLY ENDANGERED, ASSISTANT, SWEET SEDUCTION, DISAPPEARING PRAGUE, SPEAKING OF KITSCH).

In 1996, he was assistant director in the production of LEA.

His feature debut FLOWER BUDS garnered four Czech Lion Awards in 2012. The film earned him the RWE Film Foundation & Barrandov Studio Prize for Best Script and the Czech Lion Award for Best Director.

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