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ZELARY

Czech Republic, 2004 (MIFF 2004, FedEx International Panorama)

Director: Ondrej Trojan

Zelary Czech Republic Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards, Zelary is a heart-wrenching love story set during WWII. Sumptuous and moving, Zelary has been described by Variety as 'at once epic and intimate' in the David Lean tradition'.

It is 1943 and the Nazis have occupied the Czech lands. Eliska, a nurse, lives a comfortable life with her lover, Richard, a doctor. They are involved in the Resistance and one night help a dying man, Joza, who has been brought from the remote countryside for emergency surgery. This gentle giant of a man is saved by a blood transfusion from Eliska. However, the Gestapo unearths the Resistance, forcing Richard to flee, leaving Eliska high and dry. Joza is convinced to repay the favour for saving his life and journeys back to Zelary with the imperilled Eliska. To avoid suspicion they pose as a recently engaged couple, returning to this isolated corner of the world to marry. The urban Eliska must quickly adapt to this new rural life, with an oafish man she can barely tolerate. As the Nazis bear down on the peaceful village, Eliska begins to question her own prejudices and comes to discover a world of compassion hitherto unknown to her.

D Ondrej Trojan P Ondrej Trojan, Helena Uldrichová S Petr Jarchovsky WS Menemsha Films L Czech w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/150mins

Ondrej Trojan's was born in Prague, Czech Republic in 1959. Films include: Let's All Sing Around (1991), Fireside Stories (1994).

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