Lovers in the Year One

psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Milenci v roce jedna

Runtime

92

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

15.03.1974

Language version

Czech

Director

Jaroslav Balík

Screenplay

Jan Otčenášek, Jaroslav Balík

Screenstory

Jan Otčenášek

Summary

The immediate aftermath of WWII is the backdrop for Milenci v roce jedna (Lovers in the Year One), a delicate love story filmed in 1973 by Jaroslav Balík. The director had built a career as the maker of ideologically “correct” pictures. However, in the drama exploring the coming together of two young people Balík conformed to the intimate, apolitical vision of his co-screenwriter, the novelist Jan Otčenášek. (It is worth mentioning, however, that the main female character was originally meant to be Jewish but this was deemed unacceptable in a normalisation-era movie). Two years previously Balík and Otčenášek had collaborated on a television “pensioners” variant on the fateful romantic encounter in the picture Romeo a Julie na konci listopadu (Romeo and Juliet at the End of November). While its protagonists optimistically resist the idea that their whole lives are behind them, Pavel and Helena are at the beginning of their existences. The shy girl, who is very cautious about becoming intimate with a young man she has met by chance, has been in a concentration camp. By contrast, the devil-may-care law student Pavel is open to all new experiences and as an amateur filmmaker attempts to capture the world around him with his 8mm camera. Helena, whom he meets on a walk through the city, represents a contradiction to his uncomplicated, joyful approach. However, with Pavel’s affectionate, loving help she manages to gradually overcome her traumatic past and accedes to a shared future. A third significant character in the narrative is Helena’s older sister Olga, who regards the relationship as untenable as the pair have had utterly different life experiences. She protects Helena from Pavel until the moment when her timid and passive sister succeeds in resisting her sister’s over-protective treatment… Cinematographer Jan Čuřík infused the narrative with an informal, natural atmosphere, which was reinforced by the then little-known leads Marta Vančurová and Viktor Preiss. Libuše Švormová plays Helena’s sister.

Synopsis

It is the summer of 1945. A party of young people are enjoying the beginning of a new life to the full. For them this is the year one. One of them, law student Pavel, is more attracted to film than to law. With his eight-millimetre camera, he films everything that catches his attention. One day he captures an interesting face on film, a girl with an air of mystery. Pavel visits the girl, whose name is Helena, and meets hers and her elder energetic sister Olga. From Olga, he learns that the girls have spent the years of German occupation in a concentration camp and cannot forget the horrors they have lived through. Olga also uncompromisingly warns Pavel that the differences in their war experiences mean that there is an unbridgeable gap between the girls and Pavel's group of friends. Despite this, Pavel does all he can to bring back joy and hope to Helena. With his gentle support, the girl gradually reconnects with her buried emotions and her desire to live. She is, however, incapable of physical love with Pavel, although the two young people have fallen in love with each other. The disappointed Pavel learns the reason for this refusal from Olga: while crossing the frontline Helena was raped by three German soldiers. With this knowledge, Pavel is able to help Helena overcome this handicap as well. Helena conceives a child with Pavel. Her sceptical sister puts pressure on the girl to have an abortion and immigrate with her to Australia. For the first time, the timid Helena resists her sister's authority, holds on to her child and gives priority to the future life with Pavel.

Film online

Cast

Marta Vančurová

Helena Poláková

Viktor Preiss

student práv Pavel Krouza, kinoamatér

Libuše Švormová

tlumočnice Olga, Helenina sestra

Petr Svojtka

student Evžen, Pavlův přítel

Ota Sklenčka

režisér

Jiří Kodet

asistent režie

Jan Teplý

muž v kožené bundě

Jitka Smutná

Zdena, Evženova dívka

Alena Kryštofková

Ivana

Jan Ekl

Kamil

Josef Střecha

kameraman

Ferdinand Krůta

kostymér

Vladimír Hrabánek

osvětlovač

Dagmar Nováková

skriptka

Karel Vejvoda

dirigent

Rudolf Jokl

člen filmového štábu

Bohumil Vodička

člen filmového štábu

Vlasta Matuchová

členka filmového štábu

Bohuslav Ličman

Janin otec

Václav Mareš

muž u Olgy

Karel Višic

truhlář Krouza, Pavlův otec

Oldřich Vlach

šmelinář

Eva Lorenzová

představitelka princezna

Hana Houbová

zdravotní sestra

Eva Olmerová

zpěvačka

Vladimír Bílek

zpěvák

Rudolf Kalina

herec/diskutér

Jana Posseltová

herečka

Milan Charvát

diskutér

Miloslav Homola

diskutér

Miloslav Novák

diskutér

Karel Smyczek

student

Miloš Vávra

student

Zdeněk Vinš

student

Laco Déczi

hudebník

Zdeněk Kalhous

hudebník

Viktor Klinger

hudebník

Petr Král

hudebník

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Elmar Kloss

Assistant Director

Jiří Kratochvíl, Anna Lackovičová

Screenstory

Jan Otčenášek

Shooting Script

Jaroslav Balík

Script Editor

Karel Štorkán

Second Unit Photography

Oldřich Hubáček

Camera Operator

Stanislav Šťastný

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Ivo Černý, Miloš Osvald, Jiří Rulík, Jan Smejkal

Costume Designer

Marta Kaplerová

Sound Designer

Roman Hloch

Production Manager

Karel Kochman

Unit Production Manager

Ladislav Beneš, Petra Havlínová

Unit Production Manager

Pražský Přemysl (výroba)

Cooperation

Ivana Švejdová, Jan Kuděla, Eva Horázná, Jiří Matolín

Music

Music Composed by

Karel Mareš

Selected Music

Bedřich Smetana (Má vlast /Vltava/), E. F. Burian (Předehra socialismu)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Na shledanou, Cvrček muzikant

Songwriter

Karel Mareš, Karel Mareš (Na shledanou), Kamil Běhounek (Cvrček muzikant)

Writer of Lyrics

Zdeněk Borovec, Zdeněk Borovec (Na shledanou), Karel Kozel (Cvrček muzikant)

Singer

Eva Olmerová, Václav Irmanov (Na shledanou), sbor (Cvrček muzikant)

Production info

Original Title

Milenci v roce jedna

English Title

Lovers in the Year One

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Premiere

15.03.1974

Creative Group

Ota Hofman

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za rok 1974

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Balík

Vítěz

Event: 11. mezinárodní setkání mledého filmu Cannes

1975
Cannes / France
Marta Vančurová

Vítěz

Event: 47. ročník Ceny americké Akademie filmových věd a umění Oscar 1974

1975
Hollywood, Los Angeles / United States of America

Vítěz

Event: Múzy pražských diváků

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Marta Vančurová

Vítěz

Festival: 12. festival českých a slovenských filmů Nitra

1974
Nitra / Czechoslovakia
Marta Vančurová

Vítěz

Festival: 19. mezinárodní filmový festival Karlovy Vary

1974
Karlovy Vary / Czechoslovakia
Marta Vančurová

Vítěz

Festival: 12. filmový festival mladých Trutnov

1974
Trutnov / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 12. filmový festival mladých Trutnov

1974
Trutnov / Czechoslovakia
Marta Vančurová