My Sweet Little Village

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1985

Production year

1985

Premiere

1 August 1986

Runtime

98 min

Category

film

Genre

comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Vesničko má středisková

Czech title

Vesničko má středisková

English title

My Sweet Little Village

Summary

Director Jiří Menzel and screenwriter Zdeněk Svěrák worked together on Kdo hledá zlaté dno (Who Looks for Gold, 1974), Na samotě u lesa (A Cottage Near the Woods, 1976) and Život a neobyčejná dobrodružství vojáka Ivana Čonkina (The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, 1993). But the peak of their cooperation is undoubtedly this tragicomedy from 1985, which found itself among the finalists for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar – this Academy Award was ultimately won in 1997 by the Czech drama Kolja (Kolya, 1996), based on a screenplay by Zdeňek Svěrák and directed by his son Jan. Vesničko má středisková (My Sweet Little Village), one of the most popular Czechoslovak films of the 1980s, actually came about by chance: rural comedy Na samotě u lesa was accidentally paid for twice by the accountants at Prague's Barrandov Film Studios. Svěrák then consented to the solution of writing another multi-page story treatment within several days. Instead of the pre-agreed rejection of the draft script, director Jiří Menzel took an interest in the project. But it was a number of years before the film moved from script to screen. Indeed, during the mid-1980s, Svěrák and Menzel benefited from far stronger opportunities to comment upon the socialist reality in which they lived. The story of Vesničko má středisková is set in the village of Křečovice. The main protagonists are the cooperative truck driver Pávek and his protégé, the mentally retarded young man Otík Rákosník. Pávka is angered by the constant mistakes of the silent youngster, and decides to get rid of him after the next harvest. But he then discovers that the unhappy Otík has been offered a job in Prague by a corrupt politician seeking to benefit from the sale of the young man’s picturesque villa. This leads Pávek to realise that Otík belongs at home, in the village where everyone – in spite of his affliction – loves him. The filmmakers tell this “village idiot” story by way of an episodic structure, filled with distinctive characters. These include the quirky doctor Skružný (Rudolf Hrušínský), who relishes in the poeticism of the Czech countryside, and the irascible Turek (Petr Čepek), who is justifiably concerned about the extra-marital exploits of his beautiful wife Jana (Libuše Šafránková). While Pávka is superbly played by Marián Labuda, the role of Otík was given to Hungarian actor János Bán.

Synopsis

The little village of Křečovice wakes up to a new day. One of the first villagers going to work are the driver of the cooperative truck, Pavel Pávek, and his co-driver, the mentally retarded orphan Otík Rákosník. Otík lives alone in a cottage inherited from his parents and is cared for by his aunt Hrabětová. The young man admires Pávek endlessly and loves to work with him. The same, however, cannot be said about Pávek who gets upset by Otík's unwitting mistakes. One day, Otík falls asleep with his headphones on in a truck's tipping body and a crane operator buries him under a pile of sand. When reversing with the truck, Otík navigates Pávek so unfortunately that the choleric driver knocks over a post at the gate of a cottager called Rumlena. This is the last straw for Pávek - he is going to keep Otík only till the end of the harvest-time. Otík is utterly unhappy, because he should then begin with the driver Turek who is well-known for his rudeness. Turek is jealous of his young wife and is rather rough to her. But Mrs Turková stopped loving her husband long ago, secretly dating the livestock specialist Václav in Otík's house. The local physician is a lover of poetry and the charming South-Bohemian landscape, which often makes him feast his eyes so intensively that he drives off the road. He counsels his fellow-citizens in a very sober way and can even palm them off. The local cooperative management learns from a letter from the Prague enterprise Dřevoplech that the company wants to employ Otík in Prague. Everybody wonders who wants to get rid of the poor young man. Oto's aunt Hrabětová mainly suspects the philandering Václav. Otík leaves for Prague and lives in a flatlet, surrounded by a sea of prefab houses. Turek has a fight with Václav at a village funfair and Turková decides to finally divorce him. The doctor has a car accident, being run over by his own car. Otík is desperate in Prague. Pávek spots the Dřevoplech deputy Rumlena, the local cottage dweller, and the company's director, inspecting Rákosník's cottage, and he grasps everything. He immediately sets off to Prague and brings his co-driver back. It is early morning. The two men go to work together again and, as many times before, help the doctor who has just crashed his new car.

Note

Actress Stella Zázvorková was originally cast to play the part of Hrabětová.

Cast

János Bán

závozník Ota Rákosník

Marián Labuda

řidič Karel Pávek

Rudolf Hrušínský

MUDr.Skružný

Rudolf Hrušínský ml.

mechanik Drápalík

Petr Čepek

řidič Josef Turek

Libuše Šafránková

sekretářka Jana, Turkova žena

Jan Hartl

zootechnik ing.Václav Kašpar

Miloslav Štibich

předseda JZD Vojtěch Kalina

Oldřich Vlach

rostlinář Jaromír Kunc

Milena Dvorská

Růžena, Pávkova žena

Stanislav Aubrecht

Jarda, syn Pávkových

Klára Pollertová

Majka, dcera Pávkových

Milada Ježková

drůbežářka Ludmila Hrabětová, Otov

Magdalena Šebestová

učitelka Věra Kousalová

Zdeněk Svěrák

malíř Evžen Ryba

Jiří Lír

hostinský Bedřich Rambousek

Ladislav Županič

náměstek v Dřevoplechu Robert Ruml

Jitka Asterová

Rumlenova žena

Josef Somr

ředitel Dřevoplechu

Július Satinský

pilot Štefan

Blanka Lormanová

zdravotní sestra Půlpánová

Eugen Jegorov

hrobník Fanda Odvárka

Jiří Schmitzer

okrskář nadstrážmistr Tlamicha

Vlastimila Vlková

bábi Pávková

Jana Vaňková

Kalinova žena

Petr Brukner

družstevník Duda

Míla Myslíková

kuchařka Fialková

Jana Hanáková

kuchařka Mařenka

Jan Hraběta

kombajnér Žežulka

Milan Šteindler

závozník Šesták

Vladimír Hrabánek

školník Pavlíček

Vida Skalská

sekretářka v Dřevoplechu

Jan Kašpar

bagrista Ferda

František Vláčil

děda František Ticháček

Vlasta Jelínková

Ticháčkova žena

Dana Hajná

pokladní kina Hrušková

Alena Fišerová

ředitelka školy

Marie Poláková

hlasatelka

Jaroslav Tomsa

řidič nákladního auta

Josef Vondráček

šedá uniforma

Petr Studenovský

televizní redaktor

Jiří Kalenský

dubl za Hrušínského /MUDr.Skružný/

Jiří Kraus

dubl za Bána

Karel Engel

dubl za Labudu

Kateřina Nová

dcera Josefa a Jany Turkových

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Věra Pištěková

Screenstory

Zdeněk Svěrák

Shooting Script

Jiří Menzel

Script Editor

Václav Šašek

Director of Photography

Jaromír Šofr

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

Antonín Mařík

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, Jaroslav Lehman, Stanislav Rovný, Rudolf Beneš

Costume Designer

Běla Suchá

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Special Effects

Ludvík Malý

Production Manager

Jan Šuster

Unit Production Manager

Nový Pavel (výroba), Jan Peterka

Unit Production Manager

Emil Sirotek ml., Gabriela Kerekešová

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šust

Selected Music

Josef Suk (Serenáda Es dur pro smyčce a orchestr)

Music Performed by

Hudba Palety vlasti, skupina Keach, FISYO

Songs

Bývali Čechové statní jonáci

Songwriter Jan Nepomuk ŠkroupFrantišek Javorský
Writer of Lyrics Václav Jaromír PicekJosef Švihla
Singer Rudolf Hrušínský st.

Čechy krásné, Čechy mé

Songwriter Josef Leopold Zvonař

Loučení, loučení

Songwriter lidová píseň
Singer ženský sbor

Zelení hájové

Songwriter lidová píseň

Praha už volá

Songwriter Dalibor Basler
Writer of Lyrics Václav Babula
Singer mužský sbor

Naše krásná země

Songwriter Dalibor Basler
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Aplt
Singer mužský sbor

To je starý

Songwriter Miroslav ImrichFrantišek Ringo Čech
Writer of Lyrics František Ringo Čech
Singer skupina Keach

Na tom bošileckým mostku

Songwriter lidová píseň
Singer ženský sbor

Zasviť mi ty, slunko zlaté /Vystěhovalec/

Songwriter Alois Jelen
Writer of Lyrics Karel Maria Drahotín Villani
Singer ženský sbor

Od Tábora jedou vozy

Songwriter lidová píseň
Singer sbor

Šoumen

Songwriter Vítězslav Hádl
Writer of Lyrics Boris Janíček
Singer Michal David

Přejte lidem lásku

Songwriter Karel Valdauf

Chodounská

Songwriter Josef Poncár

Tuláček

Songwriter Václav Bláha

Production info

Original Title

Vesničko má středisková

Czech Title

Vesničko má středisková

English Title

My Sweet Little Village

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1985

Production Year

1985

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 19 December 1984
technical Screenplay approved 19 February 1985
start of filming 20 February 1985
end of filming 20 November 1985
projection approval 27 December 1985

Premiere

premiere 1 August 1986

Creative Group

5. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Miloslav Vydra (vedoucí 5. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

98 min

Original length in metres

2 802 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech, Slovak

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Anketa Týdeníku Televize, TV Plus a České televize – Hrdina filmového úsměvu tisíciletí (nejoblíbenější postava české filmové veselohry)

2000
Praha / Czech Republic
Rudolf Hrušínský st.

Vítěz

Festival: 12. mezinárodní filmový festival São Paulo

1988
São Paulo / Brazil

Vítěz

Festival: 10. festival české a slovenské filmové veselohry Nové Město nad Metují

1988
Nové Město nad Metují / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: 16. ročník čtenářské ankety týdeníku Květy ve spolupráci s Československou televizí a Ústřední půjčovnou filmů

1987
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Rudolf Hrušínský st.

Vítěz

Festival: 12. mezinárodní festival filmových komedií Chamrouse

1987
Chamrouse / France

Nominace

Event: 59. ročník Ceny americké Akademie filmových věd a umění Oscar 1986

1987
Hollywood, Los Angeles / United States of America

Vítěz

Festival: 12. mezinárodní festival filmových komedií Chamrouse

1987
Chamrouse / France

Vítěz

Festival: 28. mezinárodní filmový festival Prades

1987
Prades / Spain

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní filmový festival Paříž

1987
Paříž / France
János Bán

Vítěz

Festival: 10. mezinárodní filmový festival Montreal

1986
Montreal / Canada

Vítěz

Festival: 10. mezinárodní filmový festival Montreal

1986
Montreal / Canada

Vítěz

Festival: 37. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´86

1986
75 měst / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Menzel

Vítěz

Event: Československá nominace na Cenu americké Akademie filmových věd a umění Oscar 1986

1986
Praha / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 31. mezinárodní filmový festival Valladolid

1986
Valladolid / Spain

Vítěz

Festival: 8. festival české a slovenské filmové veselohry Nové Město nad Metují

1986
Nové Město nad Metují / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Menzel

Vítěz

Festival: 7. mezinárodní festival zemědělských filmů Aurillac

1986
Aurillac / France