The Cobweb

psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Pavučina

Runtime

91

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production year

1980, 1981, 1982, 1985

Premiere

01.04.1987

Language version

Czech

Director

Zdenek Zaoral

Summary

This unique project was completed by director Zdeněk Zaoral at Gottwaldov Film Studios (today Zlín) in 1986. Work on Pavučina began at the start of the decade as part of a semi-professional project at Prague's FAMU film school, where Zaoral worked as a teacher. The subject matter of drug abuse was controversial enough within an “ideal” socialistic society. Zaoral tackles the issue in an open, honest manner (unlike Zbyňek Brynych in crime drama Mravenci nesou smrt – Ants Bring Death, 1985), through an effort at presenting raw documentary-style realism. Eighteen-year-old drug addict Radka serves as the central character in this depressing story. Unable to shake-off the habit alone, Radka goes into rehab. There, while undergoing therapy, she tries to get to the roots of her familial angst – her disinterested parents being a major factor in her current drug dependency. Eva Kulichová takes the lead role in this drama; many of Zaoral’s personal friends helped to fill key positions in this film enterprise.

Synopsis

The night police patrol arrests two young men robbing a pharmacy in the centre of Prague. The girl Radka, who is the lookout outside on the street, manages to run away. Her divorced mother has no time for her daughter. Radka vainly looks for her friend Lenka in a junkie cellar den. She also does not get along with her father, a renowned music conductor. She ends up in the place of the photographer Karel, her mother's ex-boyfriend, who gives her drugs in exchange of sex. But she finds a psychiatrist who recommends detoxification therapy. Radka arrives at the asylum intoxicated. The woman consultant locks her in a room where she undergoes the detox. The psychiatrist Helena who is also on treatment here keeps her company. Radka is hallucinating. As soon as she sobers up, she is moved to the room with Helena, the alcoholic Marie and also Marcela, who takes drugs even in the asylum. Radka struggles to adapt to the severe program: warm-ups, showers, lining ups, interviews with a psychologist, psycho-gymnastics, group conversations in the park, psychodrama. All the patients, including Radka, tend to embellish their memories in their group confessions, and they are painfully affected when the unflattering truth surfaces. Radka talks about her passionate love for Ivan, who left for Sweden and died there. The former educator in a children's home, Marie, blames herself for the suicide of one of her wards. Radka talks to Helena and recalls that she actually had no love affair with Ivan. She was in fact deflowered by Karel who also got her into drugs. Helena's therapy is over and she is leaving the asylum. Radka soon runs away. But her parents still have no time for her. The intoxicated Radka wanders through the rainy night. She strips herself naked and ends up unconscious, lying in the gutter. A police patrol hands her over to the psychiatry department, where Helena is on duty. Radka steals some vials from her consulting room. She later learns that her best friend Lenka died on drugs. The father comes to visit the mother who is drunk as always. He wants to take care of their daughter but the mother only heaps accusations on him. Radka returns to the asylum and finally accepts the therapy. She clears up the relationship with her mother during a psychodrama with the much older Marie. Helena returns to the asylum because she became addicted again after the loss of the medication. Radka confesses to her about the theft, returns the rest of the medication to her and, in an unguarded moment, Helena overdoses of the contents of the returned vials. Marie guards the stunned Radka. The patients, with Radka among them, peel potatoes in the garden. Radka's father arrives at the asylum.

Note

The director Zdenek Zaoral filmed four fifths of the movie on 16mm inverse material under amateur conditions and in his own production between 1980 and 1982. The Film Studios Gottwaldov then provided him with professional support and he was able to finish the additional shooting in Prague locations. The material was then successfuly transferred to 35mm size. It was the first case of employing this technology in, what was then, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

Cast

Eva Kulichová

Radka Waltrová

Jiřina Třebická

pacientka Marie Vostřáková

Milena Svobodová

pacientka MUDr. Helena Krejčová

Jiří Zahajský

dirigent Waltr, Radčin otec

Radka Fidlerová

Radčina matka

Miroslav Macháček

primář psychiatrie

Jana Kremanová

primářka protidrogové léčebny

Jana Kulendová

terapeutka Jana

Zdeněk Dušek

fotograf Karel, drogový dealer

Yvetta Kornová

pacientka Marcela Knitlová

Renáta Doleželová

pacientka Zuzana Sedláková

Věra Boudníková

pacientka Vlasta

Jana Lišková

pacientka Alena

Václava Lébrová

pacientka Vendula

Jan Foll

Ivan

Vladimír Remeš

advokát

Milan Tahotný

feťák zvaný Prorok

Kateřina Lojdová

feťačka Lenka, Radčina kamarádka

Eva Loučímová

pacientka Dagmar

Liana Kubičková

pacientka Milada

Lucie Frantová

milenka Radčina otce

Alena Dvořáková

pacientka

Renata Franková

pacientka

Barbora Hocková

pacientka

Milada Kaufmanová-Hrabalová

pacientka

Květa Černá

pacientka

Zdena Feriová

pacientka

Hana Nyklová

pacientka

Alena Hynková

pacientka

Dagmar Faltysová

pacientka

Marta Mieglová

pacientka

Světlana Fikarová

zdravotní sestra v léčebně

Helena Klečková

zdravotní sestra

Marie Gajdošová

zdravotní sestra

Dušan Slanina

feťák

Milan Staněk

feťák

Marie Hlavatá

feťačka

Elena Masariková

feťačka

Veronika Exnerová

feťačka

Česlav Žyla

feťák

Stanislava Bartošová

vedoucí prodejny Supraphon

Ivan Douda

ošetřovatel

Jiří Havel

strážmistr VB

Zdena Čuboňová

Mária Dzurušová

Jaroslava Fidríková

Věra Krejčová

Marie Losenická

Marie Petričáková

Marta Vajsáblová

Jiří Kadlus

kapelník

kapela Steamboat Stompers

kapela v klubu

Jiří Lábus

host v klubu

Libuše Palková

bláznivá

Michael Málek

host v klubu

Jiří Schenzer

hudebník

Rudolf Suk

hudebník

Otto Kotýnek

hudebník

Vladislav Kozderka

hudebník

Vladimír Tymich

hudebník

Ladislav Mrázek

hudebník

Jan Verner

hudebník

Vladimír Balatka

hudebník

Josef Jelínek (3)

hudebník

Pavel Chramosta

hudebník

Jiří Kohák

hudebník

Jaroslav Rys

hudebník

Jiří Ryba

hudebník

Jiří Sušický

hudebník

Josef Štěpánek

hudebník

Jaroslav Tománek

hudebník

Miroslav Kympl

hudebník

Tomáš Mikulecký

hudebník

Vladimír Nacházel

hudebník

Václav Bechyně

hudebník

Jaromír Bělor

hudebník

Vladimír Klimeš

hudebník

Vladimír Bednář

hudebník

Jiří Holeňa

hudebník

Josef Jelínek (4)

hudebník

Hana Brejchová

ona sama u plakátu

Eduard Fischer

otec

Jiří Cieslar

host na večírku

Karel Hábl

předseda soudu

Natálie Mikušková

dubl za Kulichovou

Dubbing

Zuzana Fišárková

hlas primářky

Marta Malá

hlas Vlasty

Vida Skalská

hlas Aleny

Miriam Kantorková

hlas Venduly

Mirko Musil

hlas advokáta

Igor Smržík

hlas Proroka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Josef Loučím

Screenstory

Zdenek Zaoral

Camera Operator

Jiří Pechar, Jiří Kazda

Production Designer

Jana Kremanová

Set Designer

Renata Králová

Make-Up Artist

Ivo Strangmüller

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Sound Designer

Josef Hubka

Production Manager

Vojtěch Kunčík

Unit Production Manager

Jitka Perůtková

Unit Production Manager

Kamila Vedrová, Milan Sedláček, Kamil Spáčil

Consultant

MUDr. Jaromír Rubeš, MUDr. Vladimír Kubíček, pplk. Jaroslav Svoboda

Cooperation

Ludvík Malý (zvětšení obrazu 16/35 mm), Zdeněk Bobek, Renata Bobková, Hana Daňková, Klaudie Hepnerová, Karel Handl, Stanislav Kadoun, Alena Kravková, Eva Zaoralová

Music

Music Composed by

Václav Hálek

Selected Music

Ludwig van Beethoven (Symfonie č.3 Es dur /Eroica/), Luboš Andršt (Ráno)

Music Performed by

FISYO, Steamboat Stompers, Pavel Kühn

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Řekni mi, lásko, I am going down to river Jordan, Štěstí ti přálo, dostalas málo, Francka a Johny, K pětadvaceti, Vínečko bílé, Ó, hřebíčku zahradnický

Songwriter

Miki Volek (Řekni mi, lásko), tradicionál (I am going down to river Jordan), lidová americká píseň (Francka a Johny), Vladimír Merta (K pětadvaceti), František Hřebačka-Mikulecký (Vínečko bílé)

Writer of Lyrics

Miki Volek (Řekni mi, lásko), Vladimír Merta (K pětadvaceti)

Singer

Miki Volek (Řekni mi, lásko), Eva Hodinová (I am going down to river Jordan), Hana Hanáková (Štěstí ti přálo, dostalas málo), Alena Rychetská (Štěstí ti přálo, dostalas málo), Marta Jirkalová (Štěstí ti přálo, dostalas málo), Růžena Pelcová (Štěstí ti přálo, dostalas málo), Jan Foll (Francka a Johny), Vladimír Merta (K pětadvaceti), Jiřina Třebická (Vínečko bílé), ženský sbor (Ó, hřebíčku zahradnický)

Production info

Original Title

Pavučina

English Title

The Cobweb

Copyright

1986

Production Year

1980, 1981, 1982, 1985

Premiere

01.04.1987

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival zdravotnických filmů Podbořany

1987
Podobřany / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 25. festival českých a slovenských filmů Bratislava

1987
Bratislava / Czechoslovakia