The Black Feather Group

children

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Družina černého pera

Runtime

78 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

19.04.1974

Language version

Czech

Director

Ota Koval

Summary

Based on a book of the same name by Pilsen writer Rudolf Hrbek, this tale, released in 1973 and directed by Ota Koval, takes place in 1917, as a gang of World War I-era young boys from suburban Pilsen look for adventure, fun, and mainly an escape from the tough times in which they live. At home, food may be short, but the youngsters manage to siphon off an extra meal for themselves from a passing stray goat. They also organise some entertainment at a local munitions factory. This story sees our young heroes becoming guides for the viewer in the political-social world of the day. Following a transport-related accident, children’s film director Jaromír Dvořáček and also Zdenek Sirový, took over the project from Koval. During the 1970s, Sirový was forced for political reasons to give up on creating meaningful personal work.

Synopsis

The year is 1917, the third year of the World War. Many people are stricken with poverty and hunger. Karel, the eldest son of the bricklayer Světlan has been called up to the front and his mother exchanges his coat for a bag of rotting potatoes to help feed her two younger sons - Rudla and Ládík. Her boys are playing with four other children from their Plzeň suburb on an army training ground. They try to make soup out of a deadly wounded crow they have found, but they first have to wrestle the bird from a competing group from Skvrňany. They make a solemn promise on the crow's feather and become a gang. They lure a she-goat out of the nearby army garrison and drink its milk. One evening Karel shows up at home, having deserted from the frontline. He is on his way to Prague to "bring down the monarchy", together with another deserter. Fortunately they don't get caught by the army police. One of the boys, Bertík, loses his father in the War. The boys take revenge one night by flooding the workshop at the munitions' factory with the water from an open hydrant. During the final winter of the War, Ládík becomes very ill. Fortunately he is taken to the hospital and his life is saved. After he is discharged from the hospital, the boys force him to drink goat's milk to help him recover, despite his strong protests. The War ends, and the First Czechoslovak Republic is established. People rejoice but the boys have other worries. The she-goat is gone, but the clever youngsters find other nanny goats to replace the one that has gone missing. Ládík protests loudly but in vain; he must drink the milk.

Note

After director Koval sufferes serious injuries in a car accident, the film was completed by Jaromír Dvořáček, with the final processing carried out by Zdenek Sirový.

Cast

Zdeněk Dřevojánek

zedník Karel Světlan

Jaroslava Tichá

Lojzička, Světlanova žena

Ladislav Mrkvička

Karel, syn Světlanových

František Srb

Rudla, syn Světlanových

Filip Renč

Ládík, nejmladší syn Světlanových

Bohdan Pavlík

Pepík

Petr Přívozník

Bertík Stoklas

Jan Skopeček

listonoš Majer

Jiří Holý

doktor Pik

Viktorie Čermáková

Irma, Pikova dcera

Šárka Navrátilová

dcerka sedláka

Ivan Frič

brusič

Ivan Lukeš

pohodný

Jan Faltýnek

vojenský policista

Jiří Klem

vojenský policista

Václav Švejda

Fára

Jiří Vokál

Kryštof

Jan Bösser

kluk ze Skvrňan

Michal Rouha

kluk ze Skvrňan

Miloš Bárta

kluk ze Skvrňan

Pavel Mžika

kluk ze Skvrňan

František Radosta

kluk ze Skvrňan

Miroslav Moravec

voják Rudi, Karlův kamarád

Žofie Futerová

tanečnice

Antonín Klepáč

klaun

Jan Drnek

hlídač

Václav Král

továrník Holman

Jiří Bach

Holman mladší

Jindřich Polák (2)

doktor

Vratislav Žídek

kulhavý trestanec

Ludvík Wolf

zupák

Jan Kuželka

maďarský voják

Radovan Versigan

maďarský voják

Dubbing

Ilja Prachař

hlas zedníka Karla Světlana

Jan Pohan

hlas vojenského policisty

Milena Dvorská

hlas jeptišky

Crew and creators

Director

Ota Koval

Second Unit Director

Jaromír Dvořáček

Assistant Director

Ivan Frič, Irena Klausová, Žofie Futerová

Based on

Rudolf Hrbek (Družina černého pera – román)

Shooting Script

Ota Koval

Script Editor

Josef Hanzlík

Second Unit Photography

Ivan Wurm

Camera Operator

Vojtěch Kuthan

Production Designer

Karel Vacek

Set Designer

Rudolf Beneš, Josef Calta

Costume Designer

Jiří Sochovský

Make-Up Artist

Stanislav Petřek

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

Jiří Lenoch

Production Manager

Václav Rouha

Unit Production Manager

Zdeňka Černá, Blažej Vráb

Unit Production Manager

Eva Charvátová

Cooperation

Danuše Kubátová, Ivan Minář, Vladimír Hovorka

Music

Music Composed by

Luboš Fišer

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Hej, Slované, Kolíne, Kolíne, Čechy krásné, Čechy mé

Songwriter

lidová slovenská píseň (Hej, Slované), František Kmoch (Kolíne, Kolíne), Josef Leopold Zvonař (Čechy krásné, Čechy mé)

Writer of Lyrics

Václav Jaromír Picek (Čechy krásné, Čechy mé)

Singer

sbor (Čechy krásné, Čechy mé)

Production info

Original Title

Družina černého pera

English Title

The Black Feather Group

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

children

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Premiere

19.04.1974

Creative Group

Ota Hofman

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

78 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 15. mezinárodní festival filmů pro děti a mládež Gijón

1977
Gijón / Spain

Vítěz

Festival: 9. mezinárodní filmový festival Moskva

1975
Moskva / Russia

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za rok 1974

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Milan Pavlík

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za rok 1974

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Ota Koval

Vítěz

Exhibition: 6. přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1974
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia
Filip Renč

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1974
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Filip Renč

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1974
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Milan Pavlík

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1974
Zlín / Czechoslovakia