The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't ... See full summary »
Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.
What could be better for the village than a scenic railway to bring in the tourists? What could be worse for tourism than war? Luka builds the railway and shuts his eyes to war. Then Luka's wife runs off with a musician and his son is called up to the army. Luka's life is a war zone. Then he meets Sabaha..
Czechoslovakia, 1963. Jan Díte is released from prison after serving 15 years. He goes into semi exile in a deserted village near the German border. In flashbacks, he tells his story: he's a small, clever and quick-witted young man, stubbornly naïve, a vendor at a train station. Thanks to a patron, he becomes a waiter at upscale hotels and restaurants. We see him discover how the wealthy tick and how to please women. He strives to be a millionaire with his own hotel. Before the war, he meets Líza, a German woman in Prague. Is this his ticket to wealth or his undoing? Meanwhile, we see Jan putting a life together after prison: why was he sentenced, and who will he become? Written by
Czechoslovakian screenwriter, actor and director Jirí Menzel's sixteenth feature film is an adaptation of a novel from 1971 by Czech author and frequent collaborator of the director Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) which was shot on various locations in the Czech Republic and written by Jirí Menzel. It tells the story about Jan Díte, an old retired man who reminiscences the time when he as an ambitious young man encountered a successful business man who inspired him to become a millionaire and the time when he began working as a waiter at a high standard hotel in Prague for Skrivanek, the headwaiter who once served the king of England.
This brilliantly directed Czech, German, Hungarian and Slovakian co-production by Czech New Wave director Jirí Menzel, a character-driven journey through a cheerful and ambitious man's eventful life, depicts a multifaceted study of character about a very determined, articulate and good-hearted man who has numerous relationships with various women on his way towards fulfilling his dream. Shifting from past to present with an efficient narrative structure, this well-paced, imaginatively written and humorous drama, which functions well both as a period piece and a social-satire, creates a visually beautiful and adventurous story about life, destiny, dreams and love.
This moving comedy which Jirí Menzel got to direct after waiting ten years for the settlement over a rights dispute, is finely photographed by Czech cinematographer Jaromír Sofr, has some notable production design and some wonderful acting performances by Czech actor Ivan Barnev and German actress Julia Jentsch in a role which is significantly contrary from the one she played in German director Marc Rothemund's "Sophie Scholl-The Final Days" (2005). A romantic, charming and life-affirming film which gained, among other awards, the FIPRESCI Prize and was nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007.
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