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.... See full summary »
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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
Although early on, an attentive viewer can guess at the ending (or a good portion of the ending), the film never loses its power. There are five strong characters in this film, and the relationships between them are wonderfully complex, as only a non-American film can portray. There are no simple answers here; life is complicated, even in a Czech farming village. By the time the film ends, we know exactly what it would be like to live in this place, what we would do for work and fun, who our friends would be, what the future would hold for us. Although much of this view is filtered through the main character, the teacher, his non- judgmental approach allows us to appreciate how things are in a world different from ours. From the outset, the teacher clearly has secrets; this, oddly, does not drive the plot as much as the question of how he will integrate into an environment different from the world of Prague and elite schools that this son of a woman science professor used to inhabit. This film, sans car chases, sans bombs, sans gratuitous anything, is mesmerizing.
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