Paragraph 224

drama

Typology

feature

Czech title

Paragraf 224

Runtime

80

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1979

Production year

1979

Premiere

20.06.1980

Language version

Czech

Director

Zdenek Sirový

Screenplay

Jiří Křižan

Screenstory

Jiří Křižan, Zdenek Sirový

Summary

Director Zdeněk Sirový and screenwriter Jiří Křižan didn’t have an easy time in the “normalisation” period of the 1970s: due to their political beliefs, they had to settle for making only a trio of adventure films for young audiences, inspired by stories of Jack London – Kaňon samé zlato (A Canyon Full of Gold, 1970), Poslední výstřel Davida Sandela (David Sandel’s Last Shot, 1971) and Claim na Hluchém potoku (The Claim at the Deaf Creek, 1971) – and two films set in manufacturing environments – Hrozba (Threat, 1978) and Paragraf 224 (Paragraph 224, 1979) – essentially based on similar ground plans. But despite the minimalist plots, Sirový and Křižan produced some interesting work. Paragraf 224 takes place in a chemical plant, whose head researcher, Plaček (Josef Kemr), is being forced to retire. He is replaced by a younger colleague, Bernát (Alois Švehlík), who is, accused of gross negligence (in relation to the eponymous paragraph) after a fatal accident in his laboratory. Eventually, Bernát’s embittered, older colleague helps him.

Synopsis

Plaček, the head of research in a chemical plant, appreciates the help of his younger colleague Bernát in the creation of a new synthetic material. Before introducing it into production, however, he wants to get purification equipment installed to prevent the countryside around the town, already suffering from pollution, from being devastated any more. Bernát is just completing a burner for this purpose. Plaček's own solution would require another year of development while the management is pressing production to commence as soon as possible. The two previously amicable chemists are now on opposite sides. The embittered Plaček retires and Bernát gets his job. Bernát is a widower with a twelve-year-old son Filip, a promising athlete. One night there is an explosion in the laboratory which injures Bernát and kills the technician Janda. A new neighbour, the attractive potter Věra, starts to look after Filip. When the accident is investigated, Bernát is charged under Paragraph 224 with negligence leading to death. Bernát insists that he told Janda how important it was to clean the pipes with nitrogen before every experiment, but all in vain. Bernát's married mistress Eva definitely heard him warn the technician but refuses to testify. The resentful Plaček is not prepared to say anything to the police either. His friend František, a strong-minded Moravian Wallachian, has gone back to his native region to enjoy its natural beauty, but finds the same signs of devastation as in the Ústí region. He returns and forces Plaček to help Bernát. Bernát is cleared of the charges and there are signs that his relationship with Věra will blossom.

Cast

Alois Švehlík

chemik ing. Štěpán Bernát

Filip Sirový

školák Filip, Bernátův syn

Josef Kemr

ing. Josef Plaček, vedoucí chemického výzkumu

Jaroslav Rozsíval

František Skýpala, Plačkův přítel

Alena Procházková

keramička Věra Staňková, sousedka Bernátových

Hana Čížková

laborantka Eva Pechová, Štěpánova milenka

Jana Viščaková

laborantka Klárka Bártová

Bedřich Prokoš

vrchní Horák

Miroslav Zounar

výrobní náměstek Trojan

Jaroslav Cmíral

ředitel chemičky Dufek

Václav Beránek

ekonomický náměstek Vondra

Jiří Wohanka

JUDr. Hlaváček, podnikový právník

Ladislav Županič

technik Vlasta Janda

Josef Culek

vyšetřovatel, kapitán VB

Libuše Cincibusová

televizní reportérka

Milan Mach

televizní režisér

Petr Přívozník

žák Honda

Ladislav Jelínek

vrátný

Jitka Zelenohorská

úřednice na poště

Oldřich Lukeš

děda Tomáš

Jiří Bartoška

prokurátor

Pavel Zedníček

inženýr na Valašsku

Jan Kuželka

tlustý montér

Jiří Maršálek

ten v klobouku

Roman Mecnarowski

ten v čepici

Miroslav Bezdíček

železniční zřízenec

Antonín Ženčák

staříček

Zbyněk Tikal

Filipův soused

Libuše Vašků

Tonča

Václav Dušek (2)

Hondův otec

Commentary

Dubbing

Eva Klepáčová

hlas učitelky

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Marta Křesinová

Assistant Director

Irena Klausová

Screenplay

Jiří Křižan

Shooting Script

Zdenek Sirový

Script Editor

Josef Bouček

Second Unit Photography

Stanislav Kautský

Camera Operator

Jan Hanzal

Production Designer

Jindřich Goetz

Art Director

Jindra Viková

Costume Designer

Zdena Kadrnožková

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

Dobroslav Šrámek

Production Manager

Miloš Stejskal

Unit Production Manager

Pavel Mangl, Milan Brabec

Unit Production Manager

Luboš Kozák

Consultant

JUDr. Michal Sonntag, Ing. Valdemar Hrotek, Vladimír Tikal

Cooperation

Spolek pro chemickou a hutní výrobu Ústí nad Labem, Jaroslav Trousil, Jitka Tošilová, Erika Vojáčková, Anna Mejtská, Jaromír Švarc

Music

Music Composed by

Petr Hapka

Selected Music

Leoš Janáček (Lašské tance /Starodávný/)

Music Performed by

Petr Hapka, Studiový orchestr

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (Studiový orchestr)

Production info

Original Title

Paragraf 224

English Title

Paragraph 224

Copyright

1979

Production Year

1979

Premiere

20.06.1980

Creative Group

Vladimír Kalina

Technical info

Format

35mm

Versions

Czech