Long Live the Republic! (Me and Julina and the End of the Great War)

narrative

Typology

feature

Czech title

Ať žije republika (Já a Julina a konec veliké války)

Runtime

132

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1965

Production year

1965

Premiere

05.11.1965

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Kachyňa

Screenplay

Jan Procházka, Karel Kachyňa

Screenstory

Jan Procházka

Summary

Thanks to filmmakers of the New Wave in Czechoslovak cinema the previously entrenched, ideologically hijacked view of World War II underwent a re-evaluation during the 1960s. One of the earliest films of this type is a drama made in 1965 and released under the rather ironic title of Ať žije republika (Long Live the Republic!). A breakthrough film, it was the result of a very rewarding cooperation between director Karel Kachyňa and screenwriter Jan Procházka. Back then, at the dawn of the 1960s, the more tendentious war drama Práče (The Slinger, 1960) had been added by the director, then aged 41, to his filmography. This earlier story of a young participant in the bitter battle for the Dukla Pass contrasts sharply with the tale of 12-year-old Olin, through whose eyes we witness the final days of the war. The Moravian village of Nesovice becomes the stage for accelerating events as both the frontline and the war’s end approach. The young protagonist lives in fear of his strict father, while simultaneously observing the adults’ behaviour with increasing bewilderment. He watches, for instance, as they show little hesitation before looting a vacant German farm or killing an alleged collaborator. Both the retreating German soldiers and the Soviet liberators are a source of apprehension for the boy in relation to the family assets – a mare and a cart – which he has hidden in the woods at his father’s command. Disenchantment with the world order is of course nothing new for Olin. He has already learned about greed and cruelty from his peers, by whom he is relentlessly tormented. With this film, Kachyňa established his reputation as a lyrical director, combining poetic and dreamlike images with the grim reality of the war’s final days. The impressive visual scope of the motion picture was in no small part thanks to camera operator Jaromír Šofr for whom it was a feature-film debut. Non-professional actor Zdeněk Lstibůrek excelled in the role of Olin, offering further proof of Kachyňa’s legendary ability to direct child protagonists. The film was also screened under the title Já a Julina a konec veliké války (Me and Julina and the End of the Great War).

Synopsis

It is the spring 1945 and the frontline is getting closer to the small Moravian village of Nesovice. Twelve-year old Oldřich Vařeka, nicknamed Shorty [Pinďa] for his tiny stature, observes the events around him, recalls his memories and also finds comfort in his fantasy. Although he is an only son, his father treats him harshly and brutally punishes his every trifle. Maybe he wreaks his vengeance on him for his own unsuccessful effort to compete with the richest farmers in the village. The boys from the wealthy farms poke fun at Shorty and he takes his revenge on them in petty malice. From a hide-out, the boy then watches the fleeing German soldiers. The Soviet troops are getting closer and the farmers including Vařeka send their sons with the cattle and horses into the forests, fearful of requisitions. They themselves, nevertheless, make no scruples to break into an abandoned German farm and steal everything. In the forest, Shorty has the family's only horse, and the wagon with it, stolen by three German fugitives. The boy fears his father's punishment and tries to steal one of the horses from a camp of Soviet soldiers, but is almost caught. In the morning, he meets a friendly Soviet officer and shows him a motorcycle left by Germans which he had found. They together enjoy a wild ride on the motorcycle, but the officer is killed by a German bullet. In astonishment, Oldřich watches the hypocritical behaviour of the villagers who force their fellow-citizen Cyril Vitlich to commit suicide on the basis of purported collaboration with the Germans.

Film online

Cast

Zdeněk Lstibůrek

Oldřich Vařeka zvaný Pinďa

Naděžda Gajerová

Oldřichova matka

Vlado Müller

Oldřichův otec

Gustáv Valach

pacholek Cyril Vitlich

Jurij Nazarov

sovětský důstojník

Iva Janžurová

Bertýna Petrželová

Jindra Rathová

Vitlichova žena

Eduard Bredun

ruský voják Vasilij

Jiří Chmelař

sedlák Vašák

Josef Karlík

sedlák Kaderka

Vladimír Stach

sedlák Čumát

Pavel Wuršer

sedlák Rez

Jan Handt

Vašákův syn

Vlastimil Kadeřábek

Kaderkův syn

Miroslav Lerche

Rezův syn

Jaroslav Urban

Čumátův syn

P. Bohdanecký

Ruda, Niklíkův syn

O. Lozan

Pepek Puma

J. Kozel

Bedřa

Alena Černá

Anča

Štěpán Zemánek

zedník Josef Petržela, otec Bertýn

K. Patek

Singer

Zdeněk Jarolímek

čeledín u Singerových

V. Podolák

farář

František Šolc

kostelník

plk. František Golyšev

biskup/německý důstojník

J. Vagrčka

Ludvík

J. Štegr

učitel

A. Vocílka

veterinář

D. Svobodová

veterinářova žena

Karel Kachyňa

František Nebozes, majitel firmy Auto-velo

Oto Ševčík

německý voják

Josef Vorel

německý voják

Ivan Renč

německý voják

Vít Olmer

německý voják

Zdeněk Martínek

německý voják

Miloš Nesvadba

německý důstojník

Frank Argus

německý důstojník

M. Fila

německý důstojník

Alex Jandouš

německý důstojník

Vladimír Kabeláč

náčelník

Josef Bárta

handlíř

Ilona Kubásková

pokladní cirkusu

Dubbing

Jan Kraus

hlas Pindi

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Lubomír Břinčil, Zdena Kracíková

Screenstory

Jan Procházka

Shooting Script

Karel Kachyňa

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Macháně

Camera Operator

Jiří Macák, Jiří Pospíšil

Production Designer

Leoš Karen

Set Designer

Ladislav Winkelhöfer, Jiří Žůček

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Jiří Lenoch

Production Manager

Vladimír Vojta, Erik Hubáček

Unit Production Manager

Karel Vejřík, Artur Stacha

Unit Production Manager

Ctibor Jeřábek, Vladimír Tišer

Consultant

plk. František Golyšev

Cooperation

Miroslava Vopěnková, Vilemína Binterová, Leopold Zeman

Music

Music Composed by

Jan Novák (skladatel)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO), Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Ať žije republika (Já a Julina a konec veliké války)

English Title

Long Live the Republic! (Me and Julina and the End of the Great War)

Copyright

1965

Production Year

1965

Premiere

05.11.1965

Creative Group

Švabík – Procházka, Jan Procházka, Erich Švabík, Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar, Bohumil Šmída

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Ceny Trilobit 1965

1966
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Miroslav Hájek

Vítěz

Festival: 14. mezinárodní filmový festival San Sebastián

1966
San Sebastián / Spain

Vítěz

Event: Ceny Trilobit 1965

1966
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaromír Šofr

Vítěz

Festival: 7. mezinárodní filmový festival Mar del Plata

1966
Mar del Plata / Argentina

Vítěz

Event: Pamětní medaile Svazu uruguayských autorů

1966
Montevideo / Uruguay
Jan Procházka

Vítěz

Festival: 7. mezinárodní filmový festival Mar del Plata

1966
Mar del Plata / Argentina

Vítěz

Event: Pamětní medaile Svazu uruguayských autorů

1966
Montevideo / Uruguay
Karel Kachyňa

Vítěz

Festival: 7. mezinárodní filmový festival Mar del Plata

1966
Mar del Plata / Argentina

Vítěz

Event: Umělecká soutěž k 20. výročí osvobození Československa

1965
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jan Procházka