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Czechoslovakia at the end of the seventies: In order to avoid military service, Olin manages to get himself sent to a psychiatric clinic. Now he's returning to his friends in the north. All of them are outsiders who have nothing but contempt for the communist regime. Their rebellion, however, is no political action, it's just raw refusal, constantly bringing them into confrontation with the authority of the state.

The thrill that sex and alcohol offer is more about losing consciousness than transgressing borders, since the only radical way out is to defect to the West. This feeling between the longing for freedom and cynicism is what the film describes so authentically, and sometimes the black-and-white camerawork manages to wring utopian moments out the wretchedness of the devastated northern Bohemian industrial landscape: being young might also mean just having fun, drinking beer, and listening to Lou Reed. Director Petr Nikolaev knows from his own experience that there couldn't have been any biotope like the one Western young people had. He was kicked out of film school because of a short film he made about just such a youth scene. His film adaptation of Jan Pelc's cult novel not only shows us moments of history, it also examines his own biography. And as such, it's an affair of the heart.

Anna Hoffmann

Production: První veřejnoprávní, Prague

Screenplay: Petr Nikolaev, based on the novel of the same name by Jan Pelc

Cinematographer: Diviš Marek

Editor: Jiří Brožek

Cast: Karel Žídek, Filip Kaňkovský, Tereza Hofová, Mirek Škultéty, Perla Kotmelová, Eva Černá, Radomil Uhlíř

Format: 35mm (shot on 16mm), black and white

Running time: 84 minutes

Language: Czech

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur