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A nurse and her surgeon-lover are part of a resistance movement in 1940s Czechoslovakia. When they are discovered, her lover flees and she must find a place to hide. A patient whose life she saved, a man from a remote mountain village where time stopped 150 years ago, agrees to hide her as his wife. Written by
This magnificent film arrives way too late after it was nominated for the best foreign movie of 2003! Important European movies don't have the great market they should have in America, even though, this picture is better than some of the local fare. Director Ondrej Trojan must be congratulated for what he has done with this movie.
The story begins in 1943, at the time where Europe was going through one of the worst moments of WWII. The Germans are everywhere and the Gestapo is the instrument to eliminate the people that are working in the resistance. When the young medical student and nurse, Eliska, is found to be in danger, she is send to the country with one of the patients she has been taking care at the hospital. Thus begins the saga of a woman who must hide, or face jail, or probably death.
The movie then changes to a pastoral setting when Joza, the peasant who has been kind enough to take Eliska to his farm, agrees to marry her in conspiracy with the local priest and the school teacher. That part of the country is catholic and backward. There is a hypocrisy in the way this teacher and priest keep a closed eye about what the local peasantry are doing. On the one hand, the peasants appear to be God loving citizens, but they live lives dominated by alcohol, rape, incest, and other evil practices. No one questions anything.
Joza enters in the marriage out of gratitude toward the nurse that helped him heal his wounds. Then, steadily, he falls in love with a woman who is completely different from him. In turn, Hana, as she is now named, starts seeing in Joza qualities she has taken for granted. Their love is genuine.
The two principals, Anne Geislerova and Gyorgi Cserhalmi are wonderful in that make us believe they are these two people that get to know and love one another under the worst possible circumstances.
The countryside where the film was filmed is so beautiful that it makes one wonder how could war have been waged in such surroundings. The magnificent cinematography of the picture takes us back to those sad years of the war, and what that country endured as a Soviet satellite nation.
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