The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof

drama

Typology

feature

Czech title

Zánik samoty Berhof

Runtime

98

Country

Czechoslovakia, Poland

Copyright

1983

Production year

1983

Premiere

01.03.1985

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Svoboda

Screenplay

Vladimír Körner, Jiří Svoboda

Summary

Author and screenwriter Vladimír Körner brought to life numerous interesting projects realised together with director František Vláčil, but he also expanded his filmography through collaboration with Jiří Svoboda. Zánik samoty Berhof (The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof, 1983), inspired by the writer’s eponymous book published in 1973, takes place during the first “free” summer following the end of World War II. However, the woods of the Jeseníky Mountains still harbour groups of German “werewolves” trying to cross into their homeland. One such band arrives at a secluded estate owned by the farmer Habiger (Ladislav Křiváček). A trio of young men under the leadership of the nun Salome (Jana Brejchová), a hard-core Nazi, arrive at the farm and begin terrorising its residents. However, the relationships that develop between the intruders and the oppressed are not all black and white. The main protagonist of the story is Habiger’s pious adolescent daughter, Ulrika (Petronela Vančíková), who is fascinated by Salome despite her own beliefs.

Synopsis

The first post-war summer in the mountains on the border of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Germany is rather unsettled. The mountains are still full of sabotage groups of the so-called werewolves - German soldiers who cannot cope with the defeat of the Fascist Germany and do not hesitate to kill on their way home. A peasant named Habiger lives on a secluded farmstead. His wife just died and he was left alone with his teenage daughter Ulrika. A peddler named Gustl is supposed to bring over a priest but, instead, arrives with a woman, Tylda, who wants to hide from the people's anger because she had contacts with the SS officers. The old Florian, who also lives in a secluded cottage, gives shelter to a young and sick German named Erich. In the morning, constable Lašica finds Florián nailed to the cottage door. A young lieutenant and a group of soldiers search for the murderer. Ulrika meets a nun named Salome on the way from the funeral and lets her sleep over in her small room. But the next day, Salome returns with two armed young men. People also bring Erich at night. Lašica warns Habiger about the danger and is killed in no time. The young men terrorize the farmstead's inhabitants and even tie Habiger and Tylda up. They release them only when the cow begins to calve. The nun sends Ulrika to the town to get medication and some forged documents. A German pharmacist draws the lieutenant's attention to Ulrika. The officer can sense that something is going on at Berhof, but Ulrika does not betray anything. Habiger catches the two young men in bed with Tilda and kills them with a pitchfork in anger. Ulrika takes the sick Erich away from Berhof. The farmstead is surrounded by the lieutenant and the soldiers. Salome changes into trousers and an army blouse and walks towards the soldiers. Putting her hand in her pocket, she is shot dead by one of them. Salome, however, was not going to produce a weapon - she was just holding a war cross in her hand.

Film online

Cast

Jana Brejchová

jeptiška Salome

Ladislav Křiváček

hospodář Alfred Habiger

Petronela Vančíková

Ulrika, Habigerova dcera

Milan Kňažko

poručík

Marek Probosz

werwolf Detlev

Zbigniew Suszyński

werwolf Unkas

Vítězslav Pohanka

werwolf Erich Hert

Evelyna Steimarová

prostitutka Tylda

Štefan Mišovic

četnický strážmistr Lašica

Jerzy Nowak

Florián

Lubomír Kostelka

vozka Gustl

Mirosława Marcheluk

polská číšnice

Vladimír Huber

německý lékárník

Josef Šebek

četař

Leon Niemczyk

polský důstojník

Petr Skarke

voják

Zdeněk Rumpík

voják

Jan Kočí

voják

Tadeusz Somogi

důstojník

René Pelikán

řidič

Jiří D. Novotný

štábní písař

Eva Horáková

tanečnice na zábavě

Jiří Havel (3)

tanečník na zábavě

Miloš Karban

tanečník na zábavě

Monika Karbanová

tanečnice na zábavě

Jiří Velek

tanečník na zábavě

Milena Veleková

tanečnice na zábavě

Jan Laibl

muž šlapající měchy varhan

Ivan Dominák

muzikant

Josef Fečo

muzikant

Ladislav Kulan

muzikant

Jaroslav Mareš

muž v hospodě

Dubbing

Svatopluk Skopal

hlas vojáka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Andrzej Reiter, Hana Hanušová

Assistant Director

Zora Vondráčková, Marie Brodilová

Based on

Vladimír Körner (Zánik samoty Berhof – novela)

Script Editor

Karel Cop

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Pechar

Camera Operator

Jiří Maxa

Production Designer

Bogdan Mozer, Boris Moravec

Set Designer

Jan Hodný, Karel Kočí, Bohumil Kadlec, Jan Klíma, Zbigniew Pakuła

Costume Designer

Šárka Hejnová

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Sound Designer

Jiří Moudrý

Production Manager

Petr Čapek, Urszula Orczykowska

Unit Production Manager

Jacek Gwizdała, Hana Jarošová, Zygmunt Wójcik, Evelyna Vrbová

Unit Production Manager

Tomasz Matusiak, Jan Kočí, Małgorzata Kaczmarek, Sabina Olczak, Krzysztof Poddębski

Consultant

Zbyšek Svoboda

Cooperation

Jarmila Holubová, Jana Šimonová, Jan Svoboda (střih), Roman Květoň, Jaroslav Řeřicha, Jerzy Rogowski, Urszula Kłoda, Ewa Kossowska, Vratislav Novotný, Zdeněk Vávra, Milan Ťoupalík

Music

Music Composed by

Jozef Revallo

Music Performed by

Jozef Revallo

Songs

Muziky, muziky, Cikán, černý cikán, O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, Koupím já si koně vraný, A já sám vždycky sám

Songwriter

František Kmoch (Muziky, muziky), Jiří Červený (Cikán, černý cikán), Adolf Školka (Cikán, černý cikán) (úprava), lidová německá píseň (O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum), lidová píseň (Koupím já si koně vraný), lidová píseň (A já sám vždycky sám)

Writer of Lyrics

František Kudrna (Muziky, muziky), Tomáš Hertan (Cikán, černý cikán), Adolf Školka (Cikán, černý cikán) (úprava), Ernst Anschütz (O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum)

Singer

sbor (Muziky, muziky), Ladislav Křiváček (Cikán, černý cikán), Petra Vančíková (O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum), sbor (Koupím já si koně vraný), sbor (A já sám vždycky sám)

Production info

Original Title

Zánik samoty Berhof

English Title

The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof

Parallel Title

Ślady wilczych zębów

Copyright

1983

Production Year

1983

Premiere

01.03.1985

Creative Group

Josef Císař

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 36. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´85

1985
70 měst / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: 19. mezinárodní setkání filmu a mládeže Cannes

1984
Cannes / France

Vítěz

Festival: 22. festival československých filmů Banská Bystrica

1984
Banská Bystrica / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: 19. mezinárodní setkání filmu a mládeže Cannes

1984
Cannes / France

Vítěz

Festival: 24. mezinárodní filmový festival Karlovy Vary

1984
Karlovy Vary / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 24. mezinárodní filmový festival Karlovy Vary

1984
Karlovy Vary / Czechoslovakia