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Czechoslovakia, 1979 (MIFF 1981)

Director: Karel Kachyna

A social fresco set in Zizkov, a working-class suburb of Prague, between 1925 and 1939. The central idea of the narrative is the fate of the family of a small trader, Vincenc Bursik. He moved to Zizkov from the country. Already he had two sons and much hope that his cobbler's skill would sell better in the town ... The film is conceived in the form of memories of the younger son of Bursik, Kajda. The film depicts his childhood with his older brother, Pepan, growing up and the decision to face life, without begging and bowing.

"Director Karel Kachyna has usually summed up the Czechoslovak film strengths in adding an edge of fantasy to any period, fine treatment of young love without sentimentality and the coming of age. Here these are all neatly dovetailed for a most beguiling film that looks at a poor worker family from 1925-39 in the worker suburbs of Prague... The fine overall playing, the mixture of comedy and human revelation, the envelope of a gaudy cabaret symbolizing the depression, fascist encroachment and war all weld this into a most entertaining comedy-arama."

Gene Moskowitz Variety

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