The White Dove

film-poem

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Holubice

Runtime

73 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1960

Production year

1960

Premiere

04.11.1960

Language version

Czech

Director

František Vláčil

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

Vladimír Erlebach

Pierre

Jiří Patočka

francouzský dělník

Petr Kocanda

dvojče

Pavel Kocanda

dvojče

Karl Gärtner

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Anna Lackovičová, Pavel Kopta

Based on

Otakar Kirchner (Susanne – povídka)

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Art Director

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

Set Designer

Ladislav Winkelhöfer, Jan Petrů

Make-Up Artist

Miloslav Koubek

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

František Fabián

Production Manager

Antonín Bedřich

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Nekola, František Štěpánek, Jiří Ulrich

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO), Karel Krautgartner (Orchestr Karla Krautgartnera)

Production info

Original Title

Holubice

English Title

The White Dove

Working Title

Bílá holubice

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

film-poem

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1960

Production Year

1960

Premiere

04.11.1960

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Creative Group

Hanuš – Pavlíček, Ladislav Hanuš, Oldřich Pavlíček

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

73 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní filmový festival Cartagena

1962
Cartagena / Colombia

Vítěz

Festival: 5. mezinárodní festival dokumentárních a experimentálních filmů Montevideo

1962
Montevideo / Uruguay

Vítěz

Festival: 3. mezinárodní filmové setkání Prades

1961
Prades / France

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní setkání filmů pro mládež Cannes

1961
Cannes / France

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