The White Dove

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1960

Production year

1959

Premiere

4 November 1960

Runtime

73 min

Category

film

Genre

film-poem

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Holubice

Czech title

Holubice

English title

The White Dove

Working title

Bílá holubice / Susanne

Summary

František Vláčil did not direct his first feature film until 1960 at the age of 36. But as soon as the poetic Holubice (The White Dove) was released it put Vláčil’s name on the Czechoslovak and international cinema map as an artist with a strong aesthetic vision, elegant visual style, and an almost architectural approach to storytelling. A postal dove gets lost on the way from northern France to Germany. The bird serves as a vehicle for changes in the life of Prague lad Michal, confined to a wheelchair following an accident. Graphic artist Martin (Václav Irmanov) both observes and assists Michal’s physical and spiritual recovery. The message of empathy and friendship between nations personified by children is underscored by the character of young girl Susanne, who, thanks to Martin’s pictures, manages to eventually track down her missing dove. Michal is portrayed by future successful film director Karel Smyczek.

Synopsis

Hundreds of carrier pigeons are released for long-distance flights in the north of France. On Fehmarn Island in the Baltic sea a group of old sailors and twelve year old Susanne are waiting for the return of their pigeons. But the girl's white dove doesn't come back, the storm has carried it all the way to Central Europe. In a studio in the centre of Prague, painter Martin catches sight of her. The tired bird is presently shot with an air-gun by Michal, a young boy in a wheelchair. A while ago, he became paralysed after a fall from a height. However, his disability is more of a psychological one. Martin brings him the wounded dove. Michal tries to heal the bird. In the meantime, Susanne is still waiting sadly. Michal gets an idea to heat the bird with a sun-ray lamp and stands up and makes a few steps to get it from the shelf. At a pigeon exhibition, Martin finds out from a public notice board where the bird has come from. He paints her picture and sends it to Germany. Both the dove and Michal are getting better. Martin carefully persuades Michal to let the dove go. The white bird flies north. Susanne understands that her dove is coming back to her, and is running along the sea shore with the picture in her hand.

Film online

Cast

Kateřina Irmanovová

Susanne Kleistová

Anna Pitašová

Michalova matka

Václav Irmanov

malíř Martin

Gustav Püttjer

Kohoutí stařík

Hans-Peter Reinecke

Ulli, Susannin bratr

Jiří Patočka

francouzský dělník

Theodor Pištěk ml.

dubl za Václava Irmanovova – ruce při kresbách a monotypech

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Anna Lackovičová, Pavel Kopta

Screenstory

Otakar Kirchner

Based on

Otakar Kirchner (Susanne – povídka)

Shooting Script

František Vláčil

Director of Photography

Jan Čuřík

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Art Director

Theodor Pištěk ml., Jan Koblasa (plastika na břehu moře)

Set Designer

Ladislav Winkelhöfer, Jan Petrů

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Make-Up Artist

Miloslav Koubek

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

František Fabián

Production Manager

Antonín Bedřich

Unit Production Manager

František Štěpánek, Jiří Nekola, Jiří Ulrich

Cooperation

Miloslav Mirvald (fotograf), Jaroslav Skála (fotograf), Jiří Všetečka (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín), Orchestr Karla Krautgartnera (Music Conducted by Karel Krautgartner)

Production info

Original Title

Holubice

Czech Title

Holubice

English Title

The White Dove

Working Title

Bílá holubice / Susanne

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

film-poem

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1960

Production Year

1959

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 21 January 1959
technical Screenplay approved 6 April 1959
start of filming 26 June 1959
end of filming 12 November 1959
the first film copy approved 19 March 1960
projection approval 22 March 1960

Premiere

premiere 4 November 1960 /suitable for youths/ (kina Jalta /1 týden/ a Paříž /1 týden/, Praha)

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Studio

Hostivař

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Hanuš – Pavlíček, Ladislav Hanuš (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny), František Pavlíček (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

73 min

Original length in metres

2 080 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech, German, French

Subtitles languages

Czech

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 5. mezinárodní festival dokumentárních a experimentálních filmů Montevideo

1962
Montevideo / Uruguay

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní filmový festival Cartagena

1962
Cartagena / Colombia

Vítěz

Festival: 5. mezinárodní festival dokumentárních a experimentálních filmů Montevideo

1962
Montevideo / Uruguay

Vítěz

Festival: 2. mezinárodní festival dětského filmu Mar del Plata

1961
Mar del Plata / Argentina
František Vláčil

Vítěz

Festival: 3. mezinárodní filmové setkání Prades

1961
Prades / France

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní setkání filmů pro mládež Cannes

1961
Cannes / France

Vítěz

Festival: 2. mezinárodní festival dětského filmu Mar del Plata

1961
Mar del Plata / Argentina

Vítěz

Festival: 2. filmový festival Versailles

1961
Versailles / France

Vítěz

Festival: 21. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1960
Benátky / Italy
Jan Čuřík

Vítěz

Festival: 21. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1960
Benátky / Italy
František Vláčil

Vítěz

Event: 2. soutěž o nejlepší filmovou fotografii roku 1959

1959
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Miloslav Mirvald

Vítěz

Event: Soutěž časopisu Záběr o nejlepší filmovou fotografii roku 1959

1959
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Miloslav Mirvald

Vítěz

Event: 2. soutěž o nejlepší filmovou fotografii roku 1959

1959
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Miloslav Mirvald