A Convoy Leaving Paradise

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1962

Production year

1962

Premiere

15 March 1963

Runtime

92 min

Category

film

Genre

drama

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Transport z ráje

Czech title

Transport z ráje

English title

A Convoy Leaving Paradise

Working title

Transport

Summary

During his time working as a screenwriter at the Barrandov film studios in the 1960s, the writer Arnošt Lustig only participated in films that were based on his literary source materials. In 1962, he reworked his story Noc a naděje (Night and Hope) into the wartime prison drama Transport from Paradise (A Convoy Leaving Paradise), which was directed by Zbyněk Brynych. This impressive movie is set in the Terezín ghetto in the autumn of 1944. The discovery of an anti-fascist poster by the camp’s management should be a death sentence for 4,000 men and women, who await immediate transportation to the Birkenau extermination camp. However, in an atmosphere of hopelessness and in the shadow of death, the prisoners do not lose their dignity, as well as their faith in humanity and in ordinary love… In the 1960s, Zbyněk Brynych also revisited the period of the Second World War with the films A pátý jezdec je Strach (And the Fifth Rider Is Fear, 1964) as well as Já, spravedlnost (I, Justice, 1967).

Synopsis

It is autumn 1944. SS General Knecht has arrived to inspect the Theresienstadt ghetto. In the ghetto, the filming of the propagandist movie Theresienstadt, better known as The Führer Gives the Jews a Town is going on. The Nazis want to convince the world that the people of Jewish origin who are being transported to Theresienstadt from all over Europe are living happy lives. An orchestra is playing, children are playing, too, and the façades of houses pride themselves with shop-signs of various non-existent shops and cafés. The general praises the work of the camp's leader, von Holler, aware he can now approve the camp's visit by the representatives of the Red Cross. Then he discovers an anti-fascist poster and orders an immediate transport of four thousand women and men to the Birkenau extermination camp. SS First Lieutenant Herz is appointed to find the culprit. The chairman of the Jewish "autonomous" Council of the Elders, Löwenbach, refuses to formally sign up the lists of the deported, and is thus locked up to a cell. His deputy Marmulstaub, however, meets the wishes of the Nazis and signs up. The night before the transport, very young prisoner Líza gives a loving embrace to several of her friends, for they all can sense their impending death. Herz shoots Fiala, one of the creators of the poster, but the prisoner manages to run away and hide. In the morning, all the almost sixty thousand prisoners thus have to line up on the Apelplatz for roll-call. Herz finally discovers Fiala among them. Then the prisoners leave for the transport train, which takes them away from the Theresienstadt "paradise" to the hell of the gas chambers.

Cast

Zdeněk Štěpánek

předseda Rady starších David Löwenbach

Ilja Prachař

obersturmführer SA Moritz Herz

Ladislav Pešek

vězeň Hynek Roubíček

Jindřich Narenta

generál SS Josef Knecht

Vlastimil Brodský

sluha na komandatuře Mukl

Čestmír Řanda

Ignatz Marmulstaub, Löwenbachův zástupce

Jiří Vršťala

Herzův řidič Binde

Jaroslav Raušer

podplukovník SS von Holler, velitel tábora

Valtr Taub

vězeň Joachim Spiegel

Martin Gregor

kabaretiér Kurt Gerron

Jiřina Štěpničková

vězeňkyně Elisabeth Feinerová

Jiří Němeček

vězeň Vlastimil Fiala

Helga Čočková

Dubbing Jaroslava Tvrzníková
Lieselotte Grabová zvaná Líza

Rudolf Cortés

důstojník SS, generálův adjutant

Václav Vondráček

příslušník SS

Vladimír Navrátil

důstojník SS

Štěpán Bulejko

důstojník SS

Vladimír Linka

důstojník SS

Zdeněk Jelínek

důstojník SS

Emanuel Kovařík

důstojník SS

Jan Šmíd

Štěpán, Anin milý

Miroslav Svoboda

průmyslník Mayer

František Löring

muž mluvící holandsky

Robert Morávek

blokový starší

Zlatomír Vacek

unterscharführer SS Siegfried Mahl

Maurice Orion

francouzský vězeň

Jindřich Poledňa

příslušník SS

Alois Čuřík

člen filmového štábu

František Šeba

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Hartman

Assistant Director

Juraj Herz, Helena Pokorná

Based on

Arnošt Lustig (Noc a naděje – sbírka povídek)

Shooting Script

Zbyněk Brynych

Director of Photography

Jan Čuřík

Second Unit Photography

František Uldrich

Production Designer

Karel Škvor

Set Designer

Josef Calta, Ludmila Sovová, Miloš Sršeň

Costume Designer

Ester Krumbachová

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Miloš Alster

Production Manager

Jiří Pokorný

Unit Production Manager

Ludmila Venclíková, Jaroslav Jaroš

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslav Solnička

Cooperation

Jaroslava Čapková (klapka), Jitka Šulcová, Jaroslav Brabenec

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Sternwald

Music Performed by

Jiří Jirmal /kytara/,

Songs

Nahoru a zase dolů loď se s námi houpá

Singer mužský sbor

Lili Marleen

Songwriter Norbert Schultze
Writer of Lyrics Hans Leip
Singer mužský hlas

Production info

Original Title

Transport z ráje

Czech Title

Transport z ráje

English Title

A Convoy Leaving Paradise

Working Title

Transport

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1962

Production Year

1962

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 9 November 1961
technical Screenplay approved 19 January 1962
start of filming 26 March 1962
end of filming 2 August 1962
projection approval 3 October 1962

Premiere

premiere 15 March 1963

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Studio

Hostivař

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Jiří Šebor (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

92 min

Original length in metres

2 612 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

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Anketa Sdružení švýcarského filmového tisku

1966
... / Switzerland

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní festival odbojových filmů Cuneo

1964
Cuneo / Italy

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1963

1964
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Zbyněk Brynych

Vítěz

Festival: 5. festival českých a slovenských filmů Ústí nad Labem

1963
Ústí nad Labem / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 16. mezinárodní filmový festival Locarno

1963
Locarno / Switzerland

Vítěz

Festival: 5. festival českých a slovenských filmů Ústí nad Labem

1963
Ústí nad Labem / Czechoslovakia