Who Is Afraid, Flees

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production year

1986

Premiere

1 May 1987

Runtime

94 min

Director

Dušan Klein

Category

film

Genre

drama

Typology

featurelong

Original title

Kdo se bojí, utíká

Czech title

Kdo se bojí, utíká

English title

Who Is Afraid, Flees

Working Title

Když táhly husy

Summary

Czechoslovak filmmaking has largely avoided films examining Roma issues. But two exceptions are found during the 1980s from director Dušan Klein – crime film Radikální řez (A Radical Cut, 1983) and the drama Kdo se bojí, utíká (Who Is Afraid, Flees, 1986), inspired by the novel Na cikánské stezce (On the Gypsy Trail) by Josef Pohl. Young teacher Dudek returns after the war to the remote village of Růžové pole. There he tries to teach Roma children, with a side story of criminal wrongdoings also thrown into the mix. The director’s eye focuses on the relationships between an idealistic teacher, his pupils and their parents – the latter cynical at first, but gradually won over by Dudek to the cause of education. The main problem surrounds a dishonest school administrator, who forces the children to involve themselves in theft, while he also steals from the children’s parents. A lack of cultural and institutional knowledge mars the movie somewhat, adding a tone bordering on ethnographic bewilderment. Nonetheless, the film has been lauded for its early attempts at presenting non-stereotypical Roma characters. While Radikální řez saw Klein working with non-professional Roma actors, this second “Roma” film from Klein relies on professional mainstream Roma actors Petra Čepek and Yvetta Blanarovičová. Teacher Dudek is played by Pavel Kříž, star of Klein’s How Poets... film series (at the time of filming Kdo se bojí, utíká (Who Is Afraid, Flees) only two instalments of the series had been filmed).

Synopsis

A few years after the war, Miroslav Dudek, a young teacher came to the border village of Růžové Pole, where there are various people - the railman, Beran and his daughter, Jitka, several Gypsy families living and working at the farm and also Trabach, an dishonest book-keeper of the state owned farm, who is misusing the illiteracy of the workers. Dudek paints the devastated school in order to start teaching there. It seems there will be no children to teach. In the village are only Gypsy children and their parents don't consider it necessary to send them to school. Together with his friend Margitka, comes only the orphan, Jurka, whose parents died in a concentration camp and who is forced by the Gypsy boss Mižikár to steal alcohol in the shop. In the evening, the teacher comes to the farm, where Gypsy tenants are drinking, dancing and singing by a bonfire. The teacher strongly warns Mižikár about the law on obligatory school attendance for children. Dudek gains authority slowly and with difficulties. Kotlár, as the only one standing up against the ever-drunk Mižikár, sends his children to school. Later, others join them. The shepherd, Bihary, complains about bad payments for cheese. The teacher plays an old harmonium and this attracts a beautiful Gypsy singer to the school, Ilona. Her fiancé, Imre, is jealous and beats up the teacher. The disgusted Dudek decides to leave, but in the end he stays. Imre apologises to him and he decides, together with Ilona, to get a basic education. Soon they celebrate their wedding. Dudek forces Trabach to pay Bihary the right price. Trabach, full of hate, incites Mižikár to set the school on fire. The small Jurka steals keys from the book-keeper, so that the teacher gets evidence about his deceits. Trabach catches Dudek in the office, but he shoots the boy, unhappily, with a pistol. He is arrested and Jitka Beranová becomes the book-keeper. Children are singing to Jurek under the hospital windows. It is spring time. Five Gypsy families leave with Mižikár, four families stay. But it is not a defeat. A grammatically correct inscription on the bench proves to the teacher that his work was not in vain.

Note

The novel Spring Day was adapted by Josef Pohl for youth and the new version came out as On the Gypsy Path. Most of the Gypsy roles were acted by the members of the Roma groups Khamoro and Lače Roma.

Cast

Pavel Kříž

učitel Miroslav Dudek

Petr Čepek

vajda Mižikár

Anna Kazmierczak

prodavačka Jitka Beranová

Luděk Munzar

účetní Trabach

Josef Somr

správce statku Smrček

Zita Furková

Mižikárova žena

Yvetta Blanarovičová

Ilona, dcera Mižikárových

Peter Staník

cikán Kotlár

Karol Polák ml.

Imre Kotlář, Ilonin milý

Otto Lackovič

ovčák Bihary

Hugo Kaminský

děda Kotlár

Rudolf Žiga

Jurka

Vladimír Kratina

strážmistr SNB Bartoš

Ilja Prachař

hajný Fores

René Přibil

otec Čureja

Stanislav Zindulka

železničář Beran, Jitčin otec

Helena Siváková

Margit, Čurejova dcera

Robert Demeter

tlustý cikán

Bartoloměj Cvoreň

cikánské dítě

Pavel Demeter

cikánské dítě

Daniel Čičák

cikánské dítě

Lucie Cínová

cikánské dítě

Malvína Demeterová

cikánské dítě

Lenka Grunzová

cikánské dítě

Jana Ličartovská

cikánské dítě

Andrej Ličartovský

cikánské dítě

Hana Lolová

cikánské dítě

Edvard Mižikár

cikánské dítě

Václav Oláh

cikánské dítě

Robert Šenki

cikánské dítě

Petr Žiga

cikánské dítě

Marie Dezortová

cikánka

Alena Dernerová

cikánka

Monika Dvořáková

cikánka

Helena Demeterová

cikánka

Iveta Höschlová

cikánka

Naďa Kubásková

cikánka

Zdena Mašková

cikánka

Eva Reslová

cikánka

Hedvika Šustová

cikánka

Stanislav Krbec

cikán

Petr Svoboda (2)

cikán

Zdeněk Vlach

cikán

Karel Chromík

prodavač

Jan Pohan

tajemník OV

Jiří Škoda

lékař v nemocnici

členové souboru Khamoro

členové soubořu Lače Roma

Dubbing

Zlata Adamovská

hlas Jitky

Crew and creators

Director

Dušan Klein

Second Unit Director

Helena Rohanová

Assistant Director

Kryštof Hanzlík, Ivana Kačírková (2)

Based on

Josef Pohl (Na cikánské stezce – kniha)

Shooting Script

Dušan Klein

Second Unit Photography

F.A. Brabec

Camera Operator

Václav Zajíček

Production Designer

Boris Halmi

Set Designer

Karel Kočí, Petr Průša

Costume Designer

Marie Franková

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Sound Designer

Jiří Kříž

Production Manager

Jiří Zika

Unit Production Manager

Antonín Pražský, Olga Zelenská

Unit Production Manager

René Kořenář

Consultant

Ladislav Goral, Dr. Jiří Vyšín

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Marat

Selected Music

Johann Sebastian Bach

Music Performed by

FISYO, skupina Khamoro /cikánské písně/, skupina Lače Roma /cikánské písně/

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Kdo se bojí, utíká

English Title

Who Is Afraid, Flees

Working Title

Když táhly husy

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production Year

1986

Premiere

1 May 1987

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

94 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 27. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1987
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Brabec

Vítěz

Festival: 27. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1987
Zlín / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Exhibition: 18. národní přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1986
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia