Time of the Servants

psychological

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Čas sluhů

Runtime

111 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1989

Production year

1989

Premiere

01.11.1989

Language version

Czech

Director

Irena Pavlásková

Summary

Screenwriter and director Irena Pavlásková’s psychological drama is one of those films that started being made under the old regime, but whose critical, free spirit signals the impending social changes associated with the year 1989. The ambitious 29-year-old filmmaker already had several successful student movies behind her at Prague’s FAMU film school, and in Čas sluhů (Time of the Servants) she managed to upgrade her ferocious narrative energy and critical spirit. Pavlásková’s feature debut is therefore an emotionally engaged testament to the moral devastation that many young people in the socialist era experienced, as embodied by the film’s main character. The film’s protagonist, Dana, became the prototype for an unscrupulous and cynical manipulator, who subordinates everyone around her to her perverted ideas about her own needs and qualities. Dana transforms from being an ugly, timorous medic into an elegant monster, whose dynamic rise to power begins when she is dumped by her attractive lover. Dana steals her fellow student Lenka’s boyfriend and in her new life she exploits her ability to shape the world around her for her own benefit. Despite the fact that she ultimately runs aground in the case of her “involuntary” husband, Milan, the protagonist continues to victoriously conquer the world in a symbolic finale… Pavlásková follows her unsympathetic heroine with chilling irony. However, she critically shows two extreme positions in society, which are projected onto the “positive” field of medicine (which Dana’s unselfish friend Lenka studies and later pursues as a career) and the “negative” area of foreign trade (which is pursued by the manipulated male characters – the husband Milan and the former lover Mirek). The director cast Ivana Chylková in the film, and she is ably assisted by Karel Roden (Milan) and Miroslav Etzler (Marek). The “generational” aspect of the cast is augmented by Eva Holubová as Dana’s subjugated neighbour Bohunka, and by Jitka Asterová as Lenka. The debutante cinematographer F. A. Brabec manages to inject a rich and vivid dimension to Irena Pavlásková’s “showcase of monsters.” A loose sequel to the film, Čas dluhů (Time of Debts), was made in 1998.

Synopsis

The medical student Dana is a shy and grey character. The handsome student of foreign trade Marek sleeps with her, but parts with her ruthlessly soon after his graduation. His schoolmate Milan, on the contrary, sincerely loves Dana's friend Lenka, also a medical student. The desperate Dana literally whines out a peculiar solution for her situation from the pleasant couple. To get revenge on Marek, she wants to get married quickly - and she needs a groom. Unlike the shocked Lenka, Milan thinks that he can manage the "paper" wedding. Immediately Dana shows a fantastic energy, she seduces Milan and speedily moves to the luxurious flat of his parents and ousts them to their cottage. Out of favouritism, she finds the betrayed Lenka a job in the hospital and she herself becomes a housewife. In five years, Dana turns into an attractive and mondaine stuck-up fine lady. Her household is selflessly kept by her neighbour Bohunka, a victim of catastrophic relationships with men. Dana tends to her little daughter and her husband only marginally, but she manages Milan's career with a firm hand, steering him furtively to do dirty tricks, which bring him money in a foreign-trade company. She reconciles with Lenka, who is now happily married and is a successful physician. Lenka's husband, however, hates Dana from the bottom of his heart. Dana finds herself a lover - the shy historian Luboš. But then the playing with the lives of the people close to her gets out of her control - Milan wants to get divorced and Luboš invites his large family from Moravia over to her flat. But after some time, everything is again according to Dana's wishes. She meets Marek at an opulent reception. Her former lover accedes to the business agency in London, and Dana boasts that she and Milan go there, too.

Film online

Cast

Karel Roden

Milan Hošek, Danin muž

Jitka Asterová

Lenka, Danina kamarádka

Libor Žídek

historik Luboš Tesáček

Miroslav Etzler

Marek, Danin idol

Eva Holubová

Bohunka, Danina sousedka

Vilma Cibulková

Hanka, Danina kamarádka

Petr Haničinec

zástupce ředitele Stach

Helga Čočková

Stachová, manželka zástupce ředitele

Jiří Brožek

Pražák, Milanův kolega v práci

Jiřina Steimarová

Marková, Lubošova bytná

Daniela Reischlová

Markéta, Danina dcera

Miloš Motoška

Patočka

Markéta Světlíková

Liduška, Patočkova manželka

Zdeněk David

Lubošův bratr

Jana Matulová

švagrová

Martin Bezouška

člen komise

Miloslav Kopečný

člen komise

Magda Čechová

členka komise

Petr Čepický

Jarda, Lenčin manžel

Jan Hraběta

instalatér Hlaváček

Zdenka Procházková

Milanova matka

Vilém Aster

Milanův otec

Jana Vychodilová

Danina matka

Jan Polívka

Danin otčím

Miriam Kantorková

Lubošova matka

Jindřich Bonaventura

Lubošův otec

Vlastimila Vlková

babička Luboše

Lena Birková

Milanova sousedka

Hana Čížková

Soňa, Danina kamarádka

Věra Křesadlová

Romana, Danina kamarádka

Miroslav Frydlewicz

Hájek, Milanův ředitel

Ivo Vitera

kamarád

Jiří Ančerl

číšník

Dušan Kukal

vedoucí

Štěpánka Lisá

zákaznice

Jiří Patočka

host v hotelu

Gaston Šubert

nóbl pán

Imran Musa Zangi

arabský obchodník

Adriena Vlasáková

prostitutka

Eva Trunečková

žena v prodejně konfekce

Pavel Vangeli

Milanův kolega

Nina Vangeli

přítelkyně Romany

Simona Zbořilová

mladá žena ve vratech

Karel Woska

vládní úředník

Zdeněk Zelenka

mladík na večírku

Šárka Brabcová

holčička

Boleslav Polívka

muž s tranzistorákem

D. Fialová

Ema

Karel Babáček

hudebník

Z. Háša

hudebník

Jan Jíša

hudebník

S. Killmann

hudebník

S. Křivanec

hudebník

J. Mysliveček

hudebník

J. Nevyjel

hudebník

E. Samcová

hudebnice

Petr Stříška

hudebník

P. Török

hudebník

P. Vitner

hudebník

J. Vlček

hudebník

M. Vrbovec

hudebník

M. Weberová

hudebnice

J. Zahradník

hudebník

Naděžda Asterová

M. Knap

prodavač

V. Soják

Hančin přítel Pavel

Z. Ledecká

Kamila

J. Prosecký

číšník

Dubbing

Martin Stropnický

hlas Pražáka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Stanislava Hutková

Assistant Director

Kamil Busch, Jarmila Čajová, Vít Horálek

Script Editor

Dušan Kukal

Second Unit Photography

Ladislav Chroust

Camera Operator

Jan Smolík

Production Designer

Boris Halmi

Set Designer

Ivan Břešťák, Jaroslav Česal, Petr Průša, Marek Šíma

Film Editor

Jan Svoboda

Sound Designer

Václav Vondráček

Production Manager

Václav Eisenhamer

Unit Production Manager

Zdeňka Černá, Hana Štefanová

Unit Production Manager

Ladislava Kašáková, Petr Kellner

Cooperation

Alice Šafránková, Jiří Mašek, Jitka Zvirocká, Anna Mejtská, Jaroslav Trousil

Music

Songs

Bum, bum, bum, Přejdi Jordán, Čtyři páry bílých koní, Černý muž /John Brown/, Přes dvě vesnice, Vysoký jalovec, Maličká su, husy pasu

Songwriter

Ladislav Štaidl (Bum, bum, bum), Zdeněk Marat (Přejdi Jordán), Karel Vacek (Čtyři páry bílých koní), lidová americká píseň (Černý muž /John Brown/), Josef Poncár (Přes dvě vesnice), lidová píseň (Vysoký jalovec), lidová píseň (Maličká su, husy pasu)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Štaidl (Bum, bum, bum), Zdeněk Borovec (Přejdi Jordán)

Singer

Karel Gott (Bum, bum, bum), Helena Vondráčková (Přejdi Jordán), sbor (Čtyři páry bílých koní), sbor (Černý muž /John Brown/), sbor (Vysoký jalovec), Ivana Chýlková (Maličká su, husy pasu)

Production info

Original Title

Čas sluhů

English Title

Time of the Servants

Working Title

Zdání

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1989

Production Year

1989

Premiere

01.11.1989

Creative Group

Miloslav Vydra

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

111 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 8. KINE, mezinárodní festival zahraničních filmů Harare

1991
Harare / Zimbabwe

Vítěz

Festival: 14. mezinárodní filmový festival Montreal

1990
Montréal / Canada

Vítěz

Exhibition: Dny českého a slovenského filmu Bratislava

1990
Bratislava / Czechoslovakia
Ivana Chýlková

Vítěz

Event: 4. Fórum mladého filmu Bratislava

1989
Bratislava / Czechoslovakia