Hawk’s Wisdom

ballad, fairytale

Typology

feature

Czech title

Jestřábí moudrost

Runtime

88

Country

Czechoslovakia, Poland

Copyright

1989

Production year

1989

Premiere

01.07.1990

Language version

Czech

Director

Vladimír Drha

Screenplay

Vladimír Drha, Miloš Fedaš, Jaromil Jireš, Jana Procházková

Screenstory

Miloš Fedaš, Jana Procházková

Summary

During the 1980s and 90s, director Vladimír Drha added to the treasure trove of Czech film fairytales with Jestřábí moudrost (Hawk’s Wisdom, 1989), O třech rytířích, krásné paní a lněné kytli (Three Knights, the Lovely Maiden and Flaxen Smock, 1996) and O perlové panně (The Pearl Maiden, 1997). This Polish-Czech co-production is loosely inspired by an Irish folktale. The sombre ballad relates a cruel curse hanging over the son of the king who is supposed to kill his father, according to the wise lore imparted by a hawk. So long as he fails to carry out this deed, the kingdom will be plagued by eternal winter. The king fails to have the dangerous child killed: baby Kryštof is saved by a bird catcher who raises him along with real son Jan. But when the prince reaches adulthood, he discovers that the trap of fate cannot be escaped easily. Polish actors Gregorz Emanuel and Piotr Rzymyskiewicz take the lead roles. Initially, Jaromil Jireš was set to direct, but production was delayed for two years by snowless winters.

Synopsis

The king and the pregnant queen listen in panic the prophecy of the Hawks mother: the son who is going soon to be borne will kill his father. Until that time, spring will not return to the Hawks kingdom. The queen dies during child birth. The king orders killing the new born baby, but the nanny brings him to the woods and puts him in front of the cottage of a bird catcher. The bird catcher takes the boy in. He calls him Kryštof and brings him up, together with his own son, Janek. The Hawks kingdom suffers for twenty years from cruel winters. The wise man, Ordon, makes the king attack the neighbouring kingdom of King Ubald. Both Janek and Kryštof must join the war. In a battle, Kryštof kills the Hawks king, his own father. By that act, the battle is over and Ubald is the winner. Both young men, Janek and Kryštof, fall in love with Ubald's daughter, Viola. The princess gives her ring to Janek, but Kryštof, who is now the king of the Hawks empire, wants to marry her. Viola leaves for Kryštof's empire and later she falls in love with the young king. When Kryštof puts the crown on his head, an old Hawk appears in front of him. He reveals to him a secret hidden in a silver clip. The secret allows him to control the whole world through fire. The only thing that he cannot control is a human heart. With the help of the clip, Kryštof brings spring to the whole empire. People look up to him and the king becomes conceited. Ordon, who heard the dialogue between the Hawk and the king about the clip, uses his weakness. Viola's father Ubald is going to his daughter's wedding. Ordon tries to fool Kryštof that Ubald is his enemy and the king burns Ubald and his retinue with the slip. In that moment, Kryštof's head begins to grow feathers. The frightened Viola runs away with Janek and the smith, Martin, from the castle. Kryštof sends soldiers after them and he turns all elements against them. By this he changes totally into a hawk. In the end, he freezes the entire country. People blame Viola for this catastrophe. Therefore, the princess decides to come back to the castle. But there is no help for Kryštof anymore. He lost a friend and Viola's heart and, according to the prophecy, he became a servant of Hawks. The false-hearted Ordon wants to get hold of the crown, he fights with Janek and he attempts to kill him. But Kryštof exposes his own body. The dying king turns into again a handsome young man. The false-hearted Ordon is killed by Martin. He places the royal crown on Kryštof's grave and a huge Kryštof bust grows from the tumulus. Then Martin puts the crown on Jan's head and he leaves, alone.

Note

This film should have been made by Jaromil Jireš originally, but two winters without snow have changed his plans. Therefore it was shot by Vladimír Drha in the end.

Cast

Emanuel Grzegorz

jestřábí král/Kryštof, králův syn

Piotr Rzymyszkiewicz

ptáčníkův syn Jan

Markéta Hrubešová

Viola, dcera krále Ubalda

Jiří Pomeje

kovář Martin

Ladislav Lakomý

králův rádce Ordon

Eugeniusz Kujawski

král Ubald, panovník sousední země

Juraj Mokrý

otrhánek

Ivana Valešová

matka Jestřábů

Pavel Pípal

ptáčník

Pavel Nový

velitel zakuklenců

Jan Vincourek

velitel jízdy

Jan Menšík

harfeník

Hanuš Bor

opeřenec

Jindřich Khain

opeřenec

Václav Burkert

kreatura

Jaroslav Vlk

kreatura

Václav Luks

zakuklenec

Natalia Paruzel

Vladislav Fedorowicz

M. Sirotková

děvče

Miloslav Císař

strážný

Jiří Kraus

strážný

František Stupka

strážný

Dušan Vodák

strážný

Petr Hanuš

biřic

Miloš Novotný

biřic

kaskadéři Pirate Gang

Jaroslav Tomsa

kaskadér

Dubbing

Pavel Soukup

hlasy krále i Kryštofa

Martin Zounar

hlas Jana

Jiří Zahajský

hlas krále Ubalda

Jiří Holý

hlas Jestřába

Vlastimil Zavřel

hlas oznamující mír

Mirko Musil

hlas vojáka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Waldemar Prokopowicz, Grażyna Szymańska, Tomáš Urban

Assistant Director

Zdzisława Kijowska, Oldřich Vlasák, Jan Menšík, Dagmar Švejdová

Based on

anonym (irská pohádka)

Script Editor

Kristián Suda

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Ondráček

Production Designer

Tadeusz Cielewicz, Miloš Červinka, Bohumil Nový, Zenon Różewicz

Set Designer

Miloš J. Kohout, Maria Orłowska, Aleš Liška, Jiří Srnec, Mirosław Studziński, Zbyněk Otáhal, Jerzy Pabjańczyk, Richard Staněk, Józef Wilk, Milan Šveňha

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Sound Designer

Miloslav Hůrka

Special Effects

Jiří Šimunek, Boris Masník, Robert Vaněk, Miroslav Šnábl

Production Manager

Eliška Nejedlá, Henryk Parnowski, Blažej Vráb

Unit Production Manager

Dariusz Sidor, Václav Šeda, Rudolf Mos, Sławomir Pasternak, Lenka Jandová, Jan Vincourek

Unit Production Manager

Maria Stefaniak, Dušan Vodák, Hanna Wojciechowska, Pavel Bačkovský, Bogumiła Dwużnik, Luboš Čížek, Teresa Jarocińska, Roman Sawka, Wanda Parnowska, Anna Plaza

Consultant

Jaroslav Tomsa, František Michálek, Václav Luks (šerm), Ryszard Janikowski, Jacek Kadłubowski

Cooperation

Václav Kuba (pyrotechnik), Zbigniew Golębiowski (pyrotechnik), Zdeněk Maur, Vladimíra Lenertová, Jiří Křižan, Stanisława Dziedziczak, Alena Kravková, Ivan Minář

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Stivín

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Jestřábí moudrost

English Title

Hawk’s Wisdom

Parallel Title

Jastrzębia mądrość

Copyright

1989

Production Year

1989

Premiere

01.07.1990

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech