The Beginning of a Long Autumn

psychological

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Začátek dlouhého podzimu

Runtime

81 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1990

Production year

1990

Premiere

01.10.1990

Language version

Czech

Director

Peter Hledík

Summary

In 1989, Slovak director Petr Hledík was working on a screenplay about a group of children who come across a statue of Czechoslovakia’s first president Tomáš Masaryk in an old well, having been thrown in there by local communists in 1948. However, the developing events of the Velvet Revolution brought new inspiration to Hledík’s tale as he began to include their echo in the emerging material. Začátek dlouhého podzimu (The Beginning of a Long Autumn, 1990) thus begins as an adventure story for children but soon turns into a somewhat naïve and optimistic narration. The heroine, little Johanka, moves to the countryside with her mother but finds the relocation is not good for her asthma. The children’s discovery of the Masaryk statue stirs old tensions among the villagers but then November 1989 comes along and everybody is free to breathe again… Rudolf Hrušínský and Hungarian actor Gábor Hársányi both excel in this children’s film, which was soon forgotten after its premiere.

Synopsis

Jolana Marková and her daughter Johanka move to a small village from Prague. Johanka suffers from asthma and the mother hopes she will recover in the countryside. They move to an abandoned cottage inherited from their relatives, the Floriš family. The house is desolate and Johanka's schoolmates decide to help with cleaning. While trying to clean the well, they find a sculpture in it. It is a sculpture of the founder and first President of Czechoslowakia (1918 -1935) T. G. Masaryk which the villagers, concordantly with the secretary of the local National Committee, threw there after 1948. The sculpture's discovery brings back memories about the events surrounding the work many years ago as well as feelings of guilt and distant animosities. Havlíček wants to take the sculpture away - but it is autumn 1989, the outbreak of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, and TV and radio bring news about the dramatic events in Prague. In the morning, the old man Trvajík plays Masaryk's favourite song Run, Water, Run, on a flugelhorn. An old teacher secretly puts flowers on the place where Masaryk's sculpture once stood. At a village meeting, people press Havlíček to arrange for the return of the sculpture to its original setting. The old Trvajík reads out loud from his father's chronicle about the establishment of the Czechoslowak Republic. The citizens then leave to the town to attend a magician's performance. Jolana prepares to return to Prague with her daughter. While packing, they find an old letter written by Floriš in which the old communist said farewell before committing suicide because he was ashamed about what was going on. People in the town square emotionally sing another one of Masaryk's favourite songs, Son, Oh Son. The monument's pedestal, however, is still empty and the cleaned sculpture of the president observes everything from Floriš's garden

Cast

Rudolf Hrušínský

děda Trvajík

Gábor Harsányi

tajemník místního národního výboru Laďa Havlíček

Zdeněk Mucha

traktorista Josef Šulík, Trvajíkův

Hana Součková

Šulíkova žena, Trvajíkova dcera

Josef Pavela

František, syn Šulíkových

Květoslav Huťka

Jožin, syn Šulíkových

Václav Helšus

lesák Kos, správce bažantnice

Jitka Smutná

Ivanka, Kosova žena

Jan Novotný

řidič autobusu Jindra Beránek

Nina Divíšková

Jiřina Havlíčková, tajemníkova žena

Stanislava Strobachová

učitelka Sosnová

Oldřich Navrátil

učitel Michal

Bronislav Poloczek

Jarin Bohunek

Miroslava Kolářová

Bohunkova žena

Alena Mihulová

Miluška, dcera Bohunkových

Ivana Nováčková

Jolana Marková

Radka Šumberová

Johanka, dcera Markové

Radka Fidlerová

hostinská Severáková

Jiří Kodeš

hostinský Severák

Jan Holcman

Honza, syn Kosových

Michal Gorec

Ivan, syn Kosových

Odona Farská

Jitka

Michal Kourek

syn Havlíčkových

Edita Boucníková

Kytka

Libuše Beranová (2)

Zuzka

Lukáš Bureš

Švagřík

Blažena Šuláková

Milan Vojáček

Božena Frýbortová

manželé Půlpytlovi

Miloslav Forejt

Dubbing

Josef Somr

hlas Havlíčka

Taťjana Medvecká

hlas Jolany

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jana Janíková

Assistant Director

František Hlaváček, Marcela Hynčicová, Blanka Sadílková

Screenplay

Peter Hledík

Script Editor

Josef Vaculík

Second Unit Photography

Vladimír Kolář

Camera Operator

Dalibor Michalčík

Production Designer

Petr Smola

Set Designer

Petr Dostál, Navrátil Jaroslav (2), Josef Vojtášek, Josef Šťovíček

Film Editor

Maroš Černák

Sound Designer

Radomír Koutek

Production Manager

Kamil Spáčil

Unit Production Manager

Jitka Perůtková

Unit Production Manager

František Šumbera

Cooperation

Luděk Kouřil, Naďa Marakyová, Katarína Dalkovičová, Zdeněk Bobek, Zdeněk Skaunic, Ladislav Procházka, Jana Marušáková, Věra Kučerová (2), Hana Linhartová, Alice Egnerová, Vlasta Malotová, Ludmila Varmužová, Věra Kadlečková, Bronislav Sukup, Jiří Malota, Miroslav Maryník, Miroslav Slavík, Roman Musil

Music

Music Composed by

Petr Ulrych

Music Performed by

Studiový orchestr

Music Conducted by

Petr Ulrych (Studiový orchestr)

Songs

Vysoký jalovec, Zůstaň tu s námi, muziko česká, Ach, synku, synku, Teče voda, teče

Songwriter

lidová píseň (Vysoký jalovec), Karel Vacek (Zůstaň tu s námi, muziko česká), lidová píseň (Ach, synku, synku), lidová píseň (Teče voda, teče)

Singer

ženský sbor (Vysoký jalovec), mužský sbor (Zůstaň tu s námi, muziko česká), Hana Ulrychová (Ach, synku, synku), sbor (Ach, synku, synku), Hana Ulrychová (Teče voda, teče)

Production info

Original Title

Začátek dlouhého podzimu

English Title

The Beginning of a Long Autumn

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1990

Production Year

1990

Premiere

01.10.1990

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

81 min

Versions

Czech