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 »
Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by ... See full summary »
It's the 22nd of December. Sixteen years have passed since the revolution, and in a small town Christmas is about to come. Piscoci, an old retired man is preparing for another Christmas ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I like this movie very much and I am glad to read that most of you like it too. However, some comments here describe it as predictable and having the funny parts far from one another. It is not true. There are two more things that you cannot appreciate: 1) The background. I am a Czech myself and I remember the times which the film speaks about. There are many little details that probably come and go unnoticed for the foreigner eye but each of them is a symbol - it carries meaning that is so obvious for a Czech viewer. 2) The language is FUNNY! Sverak (the author) is a well known writer here. He is a GENIUS with the language, it's full of sweet little word puns that can never be translated into another language. You can translate the data, the information - but you lose the atmosphere. Believe me, even in the parts that look boring, there is something hidden between the lines - it's either funny, emotional, powerful... There is another great thing with playing with the differences between Czech and Russian. The languages are similar (to some extend) but there are differences that can result in misunderstandings - and they use it in the movie too. Czech people used to learn Russian language at schools so they can appreciate it.
I am so sorry that there is no way that you could enjoy even these parts of the movie. (Unless you'd want to learn Czech of course :-)
Just please, please, bear in mind that this is not just a shallow romantic movie. Yes, it is lovely - but there is more than that.
49 of 54 people found this review helpful.
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