The Legend of the Silver Fir

narrative

Typology

feature

Lenght

medium

Czech title

Pověst o stříbrné jedli

Runtime

54 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

28.12.1973

Language version

Czech

Director

František Vláčil

Summary

Gottwaldov Film Studio (now Zlín) became a creative sanctuary for František Vláčil during the early years of the “normalisation” era. But even there he was only able to shoot two medium-length films, starring child actors only. Nevertheless, forced to abandon artistic projects aimed at adult audiences, he stayed true to the values of his preceding work. Apart from the lyrical war drama Sirius (1974), based on a screenplay by Vladimír Körner (Údolí včel [Valley of the Bees, 1967], Adelheid [1969]), Vláčil created Pověst o stříbrné jedli (The Legend of the Silver Fir, 1973), a picture which takes its inspiration from a Beskid Mountains folk tale. As the tellers of the tale have it, anyone who performs a noble deed will see silver trees. For little Ondra, the legend comes alive when he performs chores for a gatherer of coniferous tree seeds. The boy helps him with his dangerous work. Fourteen-year-old Maroš Kramár stars in this simple, yet impressive feature shot by the director’s regular colleague, cinematographer František Uldrich.

Synopsis

According to one Beskydy Mountains legend, if you do a good deed you will see silver trees. Little Ondra knows trees like that. In his family's cottage hangs a picture showing silver firs, a person falling from a height and a watch. In art lessons Ondra paints trees of the same kind. - One day Lojzek Hojgr, a man who climbes fir trees to gather the seeds, comes to see Ondra's parents. Long-ago Ondra's father has had such a job and Lojzek is his long-time friend. Hojgr moves into a half-ruined wood cabin. Ondra's father takes him on a visit to Lojzek and both demonstrate the beautiful but dangerous work of seed-gathering to the boy. Ondra becomes Hojgr's assistent and they are getting on well with their job. Before climbing a tree Hojgr always takes out an old pocket watch. Ondra would like to try climbing, and despite having promised Ondra's father not to, Hojgr teaches him to climb trees. The old gamekeeper recalls Hojgr's father, who was killed by a fall from a tree. The picture that Ondra knows hangs on the tree in his honour. The frosty trees look like silver trees to Ondra, and he tries to climb up one. A branch of the fir breaks and the boy falls. Lojzek catches him in his arms. Ondrej is unscathed but Lojzek is seriously hurt and the old watch is broken. Lojzek's work has ended for the year and he has to leave. He does not say goodbye to Ondra, but nor does he tell anyone that Ondra was responsible for his injury. Perhaps next year he will return.

Cast

Július Vašek

sběrač semen Lojzek Hojgr

Lubomír Kostelka

Slávek, Ondrův otec

Jana Hliňáková

Jarka, Ondrova matka

Jiří Hálek

učitel

Commentary

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Zdeněk Zydroň

Assistant Director

Věra Procházková, Táňa Čermáková

Shooting Script

František Vláčil

Script Editor

Milan Šimek

Production Designer

Jaroslav Krška

Set Designer

František Santarius, Šťovíček Josef st.

Make-Up Artist

Josef Lojík

Sound Designer

Radomír Koutek

Production Manager

Dušan Schaffer

Unit Production Manager

Vladimír Prager

Unit Production Manager

Věra Hábová

Cooperation

Marie Vrlová

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Production info

Original Title

Pověst o stříbrné jedli

English Title

The Legend of the Silver Fir

Working Title

Stříbrná jedle

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

narrative

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Premiere

28.12.1973

Production

KF Gottwaldov

Technical info

Lenght

medium

Runtime

54 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: 12. mezinárodní soutěž filmů pro děti Gijón

1974
Gijón / Spain

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1974
Zlín / Czechoslovakia