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All My Compatriots (1969)
"Vsichni dobrí rodáci" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  4 April 1985 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 422 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 7 critic

Various scenes in the life of a tight-knit community in Czechoslovakia exploring the human spirit in the backdrop of the political changes that they experience.

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Title: All My Compatriots (1969)

All My Compatriots (1969) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vlastimil Brodský ...
Ocenás
Radoslav Brzobohatý ...
Frantisek
Vladimír Mensík ...
Jorka
Waldemar Matuska ...
Zásinek
Drahomíra Hofmanová ...
Merry Widow
Pavel Pavlovský ...
Bertin
Václav Babka ...
Franta Lampa
Josef Hlinomaz ...
Frajz
Karel Augusta ...
Joza Trna
Ilja Prachar ...
Plécmera (as I. Prachar)
Václav Lohniský ...
Zejvala (as V. Lohnisky)
Jirí Tomek ...
(as J. Tomek)
Vera Galatíková ...
Frantisek's wife (as V. Galatíková)
Helena Ruzicková ...
Bozka (as H. Ruzicková)
Oldrich Velen ...
Policeman (as O. Velen)
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Storyline

Stories about seven friends in a small Moravian village following the socialization of Czechoslovakia in 1948, developing gradually into the story of Frantiek, the resister. The film offers some direct political criticism, particularly of the process of collectivizing agriculture. After the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, it was promptly banned. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

4 April 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

All My Compatriots  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to his illness at the time of shooting, Jirí Sovák turned down the part of Zásinek, eventually played by Waldemar Matuska. See more »

Connections

Featured in Predcasná úmrtí: Nespoutaný zivel (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A treasure from the Prague Spring
24 May 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although I was unaware of the name, Vlastimil Brodsky, I recognised the face immediately from his obituary photograph in a newspaper the other day, a face as distinctive and unforgettable as that of Louis Jouvet or Michel Simon. Brodsky brought distinction to a number of fine Czech films particularly in the '60's. but it is his performance of Ocenas, the organist in Vojtech Jasny's "All My Good Countrymen", that I remember most. The obituary prompted me to take another look at this fine cinematic product of the Prague Spring. Unfortunately it followed the fate of two other politically liberating films of the period, "Funeral Ceremony" and "The Ear", by being banned during the years of repression that followed, only to resurface with the collapse of communism. Their rediscovery was one of the most important cinematic events in recent years. The title "All My Good Countrymen" is not without irony as this epic tale of Czech village life from shortly after the end of the second world war concentrates on the activities of a group of friends who are not beyond reproach in siding with a politically corrupt regime for material advancement. Are these the "good countrymen" of the title or does it refer to the rest of the village who scorn these petty authority figure with silent contempt? By portraying the friends sometimes with quirky affection and sometimes as petty bullies, the director displays a certain moral ambiguity that makes one feel that the message behind it all has not quite been fully thought out. Another area of puzzlement is the three strange deaths that punctuate the narrative flow. They have an almost dreamlike quality, but, powerful as they are, their significance is not entirely clear. Where the film wholly succeeds however is in its wonderful evocation of time and place. The passing of seasons, particularly winter landscapes, have a beauty that is quite breathtaking. The symphonic score by Svatopluk Havelka, a rich tapestry of ostinato figures, beautifully compliments these landscape interludes while an unaccompanied trombone solo highlights the three moments of death. But it would be wrong to give the impression that "All My Good Countrymen" is a film where style matters more than substance. The use of a silent village crone, generally seen in closeup at moments of crucial drama, brilliantly sums up the stupidity of so many of the main characters' actions - an inspired use of a type of wordless Greek Chorus. In fact the film is often at its most powerful when it uses silence. Note the wonderfully poignant use of gesture when the honest young farmer takes leave of his family on his arrest. It is at moments such as this that the film achieves greatness.


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