Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »
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Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather - Louka. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
I did not think this film was at all sentimental (if you are using the word in its pejorative sense). In reading the comments on this film, I noticed the Czechs who responded were rather lukewarm about it. This surprises me. Kolya works as a film on several levels at once -- political, artistic, personal, etc. and I do not think it is at all predictable. The performances are magical and the entire film is encased by music of very great beauty and humanity by Dvorak and other great Czech composers. Music from Dvorak's "Four Biblical Songs" is at the heart of the film. It is the song that Klara sings at the funerals and the song Kolya is singing before and during the closing credits. The vintage film footage of Kubelik conducting Smetana's Ma Vlast at a concert at the end of the Russian occupation is a wonderful touch. Although I'm sure many other Czech films deserve Oscars, I am glad Kolya was recognized. I hope this film is released on DVD soon.
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