The World Knows Nothing

drama

Typology

feature

Czech title

Svět nic neví

Runtime

108

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1987

Production year

1987

Premiere

01.09.1988

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Svoboda

Screenplay

Václav Šašek, Jiří Svoboda

Summary

Based on a novel of the same name by Miloslav Nohejl, this 1987 historical drama from director Jiří Svoboda takes its audience back to the Czech borderlands of 1938. The film tells the story of postal official Tomáš Jakl (Emil Horváth Jr.) and his marriage to wealthy woman Viola (Petronela Vančíková). Their relationship is far from happy, and the snooty locals want nothing to do with this “interloper”. With the help of friend Jindřich Křemen – a functionary of the Sudeten German Party – Tomáš decides to try to build a better career for himself. But normal friendships increasingly fall victim to the pressures of these dark times. The part of the malevolent Křemen goes to Milan Kňažko, who thanks to his expressive acting style was utilised by director Svoboda in his subsequent films – Zánik samoty Berhof (The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof, 1983), Papilio (1986) and Jen o rodinných záležitostech (Family Matters, 1990). Tomáš’s love interest, teacher Jiřina, is played by Magda Vášáryová.

Synopsis

It is 1938 in a Czech border town. Three bachelors and inseparable friends - clerk TomᚠJakl, Jindřich Křemen and engineer Stach - spend their leisure time drinking in a night bar, accompanied by ladies. Their favourite common practice is responding to the lonely hearts section ads and selecting their victims - naive women who they later abuse. The local native Pavláčka returns to the town. Once an outsider, he is now a widowed man who earned a fortune mining diamonds in Africa. He is accompanied by his very young daughter Viola. The responses of the marriage-minded women include a letter from the pretty, albeit old-maidish, teacher Jiřina. Jakl mesmerizes her on their first date; he, however, feels sorry for the woman and sends her home. The woman does not understand his warning and gets drunk and, after falling asleep, is abused like all her predecessors. Only Křemen, who sympathizes with the Nazis, considers her Jewish and leaves. Jakl accepts Pavláčka's offer to marry his daughter who will receive a rich dowry, a luxurious apartment and a car. Right after the wedding, Pavláčka leaves for abroad. The hastily concluded wedding, however, is neither harmonious nor happy. The initially enamoured Viola spends her time with an eccentric lesbian German named Wally. Jakl accepts dismissal instead of his colleague Kolda but then holds his hand out for Kolda's kiss of gratitude, thus humiliating him. The local notables do not accept Jakl amongst them. Jakl dates Jiřina who loves him despite everything that has happened. The friend Jindřich Křemen turns into Heinrich Kremen, a functionary of the Sudeten German's party. Tomᚠdecides to make a career with his help. But he must fulfill a task in order to become a regular member of the Nazi party. He is assigned it by Kolda - now an influential Nazi who is full of spiteful satisfaction. The shocked Tomᚠfinds out that he is supposed to murder Jiřina. He vainly tries to avoid the incomprehensible malefaction. In the boisterous time following the Munich Agreement, when the town is occupied by the Germans and the Czechs take flight, Viola is run over by a German car. Jiřina again does not heed Jakl's warning and the man eventually shoots her dead at a critical moment. Heinrich praises him for it, telling him that his next assignment is waiting for him in Prague.

Cast

Emil Horváth ml.

úředník Tomáš Jakl

Magda Vášáryová

učitelka Jiřina Steinová

Radoslav Brzobohatý

Josef Pavláčka, Violin otec

Milan Kňažko

Jindřich Křemen později Heinrich Kremen

Jiří Ornest

inženýr Stach

Jana Švandová

Němka Wally

Evelyna Steimarová

vdova Lída, Tomášova bytná

František Husák

úředník Kolda

Jan Teplý

fabrikant Hikl

Ladislav Lakomý

stavitel Lojda

František Řehák

přednosta úřadu Werner

Alena Kreuzmannová

Tomášova matka

Bohumil Vávra

Tomášův otec

Milan Riehs

ředitel banky

Hana Čížková

barmanka Markéta

Dora Boková

dítě

Pavel Grégr

číšník Stanislav

Hana Jarošová

sestra Marie

Jaroslav Konšál

nacista

Miloslav Mejzlík

Lojdův řidič

Jaroslav Vozáb

úředník banky

Marcela Baťková

tanečnice

Jana Kolenatá

tanečnice

Ivana Krystlíková

tanečnice

Vratislav Marek

tanečník

František Biňovec

muzikant

Milan Groh

muzikant

J. Hamza

muzikant

Václav Hátle

muzikant

Petr Ittner

muzikant

Augustin Kraus

muzikant

M. Kudrnovský

muzikant

J. Moravec

muzikant

Antonín Cingl

hudebník

Jiří Kauders

hudebník

Miloš Vychytil

hudebník

T. Brožek

bubeník

Roman Finger

bubeník

M. Jersák

bubeník

Tomáš Kapek

bubeník

Lubor Krása

bubeník

Marcel Vlček

bubeník

Petr Buchtela

kaskadér

Ivan Mareš

kaskadér

Viktor Červenka

kaskadér

Antonín Hašek

kaskadér

Michal Hradský

kaskadér

Jaroslav Klenot

kaskadér

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Hana Hanušová

Assistant Director

Georgi Ivanov, Marie Brodilová

Based on

Miloslav Nohejl (Svět nic neví – román)

Second Unit Photography

Václav Helliman

Camera Operator

Ivan Jiránek

Production Designer

Jozef Hrabušický

Set Designer

Jaroslav Česal, Karel Kočí, Petr Matouš, Petr Průša, Marek Šíma

Costume Designer

Eva Janoušková

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Sound Designer

Jiří Moudrý

Production Manager

Petr Čapek

Unit Production Manager

Antonín Suchánek, Daniela Jenčíková, Josef Štambach

Unit Production Manager

Rudolf Roztočil, Max Weiss, Stanislav Šafr

Cooperation

N. Kalinová, Martin Martinec, Z. Moulis, Jana Šimonová, Zdeněk Vávra

Music

Music Composed by

Jozef Revallo

Selected Music

Václav Vačkář (Vzpomínka na Zbiroh – serenáda)

Music Performed by

Jozef Revallo

Songs

Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/, Tief drin im Böhmerwald, Preussens Gloria (/píšťaly a bubny/), In der Heimat, da gibt's ein Wiedersehen

Songwriter

Etienne Nicolas Méhul (Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/), Jakob Eduard Schmelzer (Tief drin im Böhmerwald), Johann Gottfried Piefke (Preussens Gloria), Wilhelm Lindemann (In der Heimat, da gibt's ein Wiedersehen)

Writer of Lyrics

Horst Wessel (Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/), Andreas Hartauer (Tief drin im Böhmerwald), Wilhelm Lindemann (In der Heimat, da gibt's ein Wiedersehen)

Singer

sbor (Tief drin im Böhmerwald), sbor (In der Heimat, da gibt's ein Wiedersehen)

Choreographer

Josef Koníček

Production info

Original Title

Svět nic neví

English Title

The World Knows Nothing

Copyright

1987

Production Year

1987

Premiere

01.09.1988

Creative Group

Miloslav Vydra

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 26. festival českých a slovenských filmů Brno

1988
Brno / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Svoboda

Vítěz

Festival: 26. festival českých a slovenských filmů Brno

1988
Brno / Czechoslovakia
Václav Šašek