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51-year-old Herbert Strehlow, a furniture restorer, falls in love with 21-year-old Lea, who has not spoken a word since childhood when her father killed her mother. She bears a striking ... See full summary »


Ivan Fíla


Ivan Fíla (screenplay), Lubomír Feldek (poems)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lenka Vlasáková ... Lea
Christian Redl ... Strehlow
Hanna Schygulla ... Wanda
Miroslav Donutil ... Gregor Palty
Udo Kier ... Block
Gerd Lohmeyer Gerd Lohmeyer ... Postmaster
Tereza Vetrovská Tereza Vetrovská ... Young Lea
Ivan Gogál ... Father of Lea (as Ivo Gogál)
Klára Jirsáková Klára Jirsáková ... Mother of Lea
Oliver Stritzel ... Doctor
Herman van Ulzen Herman van Ulzen ... Administrator
Zuzana Krónerová ... Beata Paltyova
Sona Valentová ... Doctor
Mojmír Kucera Mojmír Kucera ... Jakub
Ján Melkovic Ján Melkovic ... Station-master


51-year-old Herbert Strehlow, a furniture restorer, falls in love with 21-year-old Lea, who has not spoken a word since childhood when her father killed her mother. She bears a striking resemblance to Herbert's dead wife. They get married, but their relationship seems doomed, until gradually each one manages to penetrate the mysterious world of the other, and they begin to realize that they are bound by a kind of spiritual relationship. For Lea it is the death of her mother, for Herbert it is the death of his first wife. His hard exterior slowly beings to thaw, and he starts to show feelings and responses that soften Lea's initial hatred and fear of him, and which put their relationship in a more positive light. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

22 May 1997 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Lean tarina See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$914, 29 September 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,071, 1 October 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Quiet yet powerful movie - you'll remember long after you've seen it
12 June 2004 | by elise-aymerSee all my reviews

I saw this movie late one night long after I should have gone to bed. I didn't expect much since there is a lot of drivel on at that time of night, but was very pleasantly surprised. This is a quiet film. There are no bombs, car wrecks or much in the way of sweaty bodies here. There isn't even much dialogue - body language and glances often do the talking.

The film's focus is instead its characters. The title character and the man she finds herself married to are both extremely complex, interesting personalities. Lea, is a remarkable blend of frail beauty and incredible strength. Since abuse (cycles of it) and loss (also cycles of it) are strong themes in "Lea" the film is sometimes emotionally hard to deal with, but because everything is so beautifully acted and directed I found that I couldn't turn away. Definitely worth watching.

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