Ballad about a Birth

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1970

Production year

1970

Premiere

11 December 1970

Runtime

20 min

Director

Petr Tuček

Category

film

Genre

narrative

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionshort

Original title

Balada o narození

Czech title

Balada o narození

English title

Ballad about a Birth

Working title

Balada o zrození / Narodil se nám

Synopsis

The whole family has gathered around the bed of sick, old Martin along with his friend, the family's physician. Martin dies and the doctor leaves on his sledge through the snow-covered mountains to see a woman delivering a child. On the way, he picks up a group of village musicians who had been waiting in vain for the bus. Their double bass falls on the ground and breaks. This reminds the doctor of another double bass that was hiding medicine for the partisans and got shot to pieces. It was during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia when the Germans were cruelly pursuing villagers for helping partisans. Villager Jožka comes to a partisan bunker in the mountains to ask the doctor to help his wife, who has begun to have great difficulties in delivering a child. Commander Martin does not want to endanger his comrades-in-arms and bars the doctor from going to the village. However, Martin is eventually brought round and four people set off to help the delivering woman - her husband Jožka, the doctor, Martin and the female partisan Růža. They reach the cottage at the same time that SS soldiers invade the village and begin to shoot its inhabitants. One stray bullet kills the young woman, who has just delivered the child. Jožka dies, too. Martin lays down a covering fire while the doctor and Růža take the newborn baby and flee back to the mountains, but he is severely wounded. The childbirth to which the doctor is going now, however, is over before his arrival and when he gets there the young woman is peacefully embracing her baby.

Cast

Hana Horáková

Růža

Hynek Kubasta

nastávající otec

Oto Ševčík

důstojník SS

Crew and creators

Director

Petr Tuček

Commentary by

Petr Tuček

Director of Photography

Ludmila Hadašová

Production Designer

Jaroslav Krška

Sound Designer

Dobroslav Šrámek, Bohumír Brunclík (zvukové efekty)

Production Manager

Emil Havlín

Music

Music Composed by

Václav Lídl

Songs

Tichá noc /Stille Nacht heilige Nacht/

Songwriter Franz Xaver Gruber
Writer of Lyrics Joseph Mohr
Singer mužský sbor

Narodil se Kristus pán

Songwriter anonym /15. století/
Writer of Lyrics Jan Franus
Singer dětský sbor

Production info

Original Title

Balada o narození

Czech Title

Balada o narození

English Title

Ballad about a Birth

Working Title

Balada o zrození / Narodil se nám

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

narrative

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1970

Production Year

1970

Production specifications

projection approval 6 May 1970

Premiere

premiere 11 December 1970 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)
premiere 25 February 1971 /unsuitable for youths/ (kino Pilotů /½ týdne/, Praha)

Distribution slogan

no caption

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Technical info

Duration typology

short film

Duration in minutes

20 min

Original length in metres

564 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech