A Good Light

psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Dobré světlo

Runtime

90

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production year

1986

Premiere

01.10.1986

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Kachyňa

Screenplay

Karel Čabrádek, Karel Kachyňa

Screenstory

Karel Čabrádek

Summary

In the 1980s, collaboration between the director Karel Kachyňa and the actor Karel Heřmánek produced two socially critical films: the psychological drama Dobré světlo (Good Light) and the tragicomedy Kam, pánové, kam jdete? (...And What Now, Gentlemen?, 1987). (Heřmánek, of course, also featured in the director’s adaptation of the Ota Pavel book Smrt krásných srnců [Forbidden Dreams, 1986].) In Good Light, Kachyňa once again teamed up with the scriptwriter Karel Čabrádek, with whom he first collaborated in the late 1970s on the poetic drama Čekání na déšť (Waiting for the Rain). In a number of common TV movies and feature films, the story of a photographer battling small-town limitations plays an important role: it combines a topical social theme with a favourite Kachyňa story of an individual seeking his own path in life. The protagonist Viktor Průcha leads the life of a successful man in his middle years. On his fortieth birthday, however, a midlife crisis sets in, which forces Viktor to put an end to the hypocrisy and compromises that pervade his work as a municipal architect and his conflict-ridden life with his wife Soňa. He wants to find a new life via his longstanding hobby – photography. With a young Roma girl, Aranka, the genre of the artistic nude re-enters Viktor’s life. The resulting exhibition, however, outrages the hero’s fellow small-town citizens to such an extent that they try to set the police on the freethinking artist… Besides the conventional dentist Soňa (Jana Šulcová) and the shy, sensuous Aranka (Anna Tomsová), there is another woman in the protagonist’s life – Majka, a woman around his own age who tries to change from being his long-term friend into an understanding lover. The three female characters thus embody the different paths in life that Viktor Průcha can choose. But, of course, the only right way is the one that the hero embarks on alone… In 1986, Good Light was an interesting addition to the rising wave of social criticism. The film also stands out for its time thanks to its daring nude scenes, which the censors back then tolerated because of the overall artistic style of the movie.

Synopsis

The urban architect Viktor Průcha is disgusted by the compromises to which he is pushed both by his friends - influential people living in a small town - and his wife Sonja, a successful dentist. Viktor refuses to approve a garage construction on a plot in the centre which was previously allotted for a kindergarten. The visit of his friend, the bohemian painter Došek, is rather thought-provoking. Došek reminds him of his long-wasted talent for photography, especially nudes. Viktor's drunkenness and the resulting quarrel with Sonja spoil the celebration of his fortieth birthday. Viktor moves to his former studio and plans to take up photography again. On one of his wanderings, he meets the very young Gypsy Aranka by the river and asks her to pose for him. The girl is quite unconventional but shy. Only the strange atmosphere in a forest before a storm makes her agree to be shot naked. The exhibition of Aranka's nudes in a theatre foyer causes a stir. The only ones who openly appreciate the works are Došek and the friend Majka, who is married to an elderly director of a construction company, Karas. Sonja arranges for the exhibition to be terminated and the rupture between the husband and wife is definite. Majka turns into Viktor's nude model as well as his lover. The police investigate a false denunciation that Aranka is underage. Sonja's father, an advocate, wants to reconcile his daughter with his son-in-law. Majka who initially planned to live with Viktor, finally returns to her "golden cage". Viktor leaves both his job and the town. Sonja looks him up at a railway station and offers to wait for him for a year.

Film online

Cast

Karel Heřmánek

architekt Viktor Průcha

Jana Šulcová

zubařka Soňa, Viktorova žena

Jan Pohan

Olda Karas, náměstek ředitele stavebního podniku

Ivana Chýlková

Majka, Karasova žena

Anna Tomsová

romská dívka Aranka

Ilja Prachař

JUDr.Tomášek, otec Soni

Petr Pelzer

malíř Došek

Jan Hartl

komunální fotograf Přemek

Jana Matiášková

sekretářka Katka

Ondřej Havelka

Zich, Viktorův kolega

Adolf Kohuth

vedoucí odboru výstavby Lamač

František Řehák

tajemník MNV

Gabriela Wilhelmová

bufetářka Kvapilová

Bořivoj Navrátil

ředitel divadla

Zdeněk Hradilák

předseda MNV

Luba Skořepová

Majčina matka

Eva Jeníčková

prodavačka hudebních nástrojů

Marek Vašut

Honza, nápadník prodavačky

Jana Marková

úřednice Mottlová

Marcela Nohýnková

sekretářka tajemníka

Ladislav Potměšil

poručík VB Čihák

Jindřich Hinke

podporučík VB Váně

Jozef Ropog

Pišta Varga

Mari Varsányi

Vargova žena

Petr Skarke

MUDr.Pavel Uhlíř

Zuzana Skalická

Uhlířova žena

Oldřich Vízner

učitel Radek Dittrich

Stanislav Tříska

topič Žofka

Eduard Pavlíček

místopředseda

Vladimír Navrátil

lesák v radě

Jana Synková

prodavačka Kácová

Zdeňka Tichá

členka rady

Eva Trunečková

uvaděčka

Jiří Žák

muž v mysliveckém klobouku

Karel Bělohradský

zájemce o garáž Zdeněk

Jiří Bruder

hospodář bytového družstva

Jan Hraběta

zarostlý muž v bufetu

Roman Eppert

družba na svatbě

Jaroslav Tomsa

družba na svatbě

Miluše Soukupová

matka

Alena Mihulová

dívka od koní

Michaela Kuklová

dívka od koní

Simona Chytrová

Zichova dívka

Miroslav Vladyka

opilý ženich

Eva Krausová

těhotná nevěsta

Monika Horáková

pubertální dívka

Monika Kvasničková

dívka s paraplíčkem

Irena Jeřábková

osmiletá holčička

Jana Páleníčková

osmiletá holčička

Karolina Procházková

osmiletá holčička

Petr Šimák

kluk

Ivana Mittevová

devatenáctiletá dívka

Lenka Jedličková

sekretářka advokáta

Dubbing

Taťjana Medvecká

hlas Aranky

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Zeno Dostál, Věra Ticháčková

Assistant Director

Dagmar Zelenková, Milan Špinka

Screenstory

Karel Čabrádek

Script Editor

Vladimír Bor

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Pechar

Camera Operator

Jan Carda

Production Designer

Boris Moravec

Set Designer

Josef Müller, Jaromír Šlápota, Milan Šilha, Miloslav Dvořák

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Sound Designer

Pavel Jelínek

Production Manager

Oldřich Mach

Unit Production Manager

Iva Šetková, Tomáš Baloun

Unit Production Manager

Zdena Junková, Antonín Pražský

Music

Music Composed by

Angelo Michajlov

Selected Music

Johann Strauss ml. (Cikánský baron)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Mario Klemens (FISYO)

Songs

Cikánský baron jsem já

Songwriter

Johann Strauss ml. (Cikánský baron jsem já)

Singer

Ivana Chýlková (Cikánský baron jsem já)

Choreographer

Karel Bednář

Production info

Original Title

Dobré světlo

English Title

A Good Light

Working Title

Fotograf amatér

Copyright

1986

Production Year

1986

Premiere

01.10.1986

Creative Group

Jiří Blažek

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 13. mezinárodní filmový festival Santarém

1987
Santarém / Portugal
Karel Heřmánek