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Petr, youthful, quiet, and sensitive, comes from Prague to teach natural science in a country town. The gruff principal asks what he's running from and predicts he'll be gone in six months. Marie, a widow with a teen son, Lada, befriends Petr. She's lonely. Petr does some chores at her farm and watches Lada with his weekend girlfriend, Bara. We meet Petr's parents and understand some of why he left Prague, then Petr's friend Mihi pays a visit and we understand more. Mihi throws a wrench in things, and Lada comes to Petr for help. Has Petr found his place in the world, but what about his nature? Written by
The film starts as a school teacher moves from teaching a school in the big city to teaching at a school in a small country village. It doesn't take long before it's clear that he's escaping something - desperately wanting to leave something behind and start over again. When his past catches up with him it becomes clear that there is no escaping it - you are what you are.
Set in a typical everybody knows everybody small village this film plays out pretty smoothly, telling its sad tale at a very steady pace. The actors are doing their jobs flawlessly, playing their roles in a most believable way giving the film a very "real" feeling and it becomes very easy to grow sympathy for the characters - enough to overcome the mistakes they make in their lives.
I guess one message the film is telling us is that the road to happiness is marked with pit holes and bumps and that it leaves you bruised and battered. It's a good message and makes for a solid but somewhat painful film.
8 out of 10 steps on a wobbly road
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