Hippocrates’s Oath

short-story

Typology

feature

Czech title

Hippokratova přísaha

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1970

Production year

1969 – 1970

Director

Otakar Fuka

Summary

Unfinished film.

Synopsis

Arnošt Pospíšil, a physician and political prisoner serving a sentence in the uranium mines, tried to smuggle a medicine for a sick co-prisoner to the working camp. He is caught and sentenced to ten days of severe punishment in solitary confinement. Pospíšil, barefoot and barely dressed, fights hunger and cold. In the cell, he recalls his studies of medicine and his girlfriend Jiřina, frightened that the girl will certainly not wait for him for the ten years of his imprisonment. Even earlier, he had asked her to come and tell him if she would find another man. Pospíšil´s sentence in solitary, however, is unexpectedly halted after five days, for the prisoner has a permitted visit the next day. The only one who may arrive is his girlfriend. In the prisoners´ dormitory, Arnošt can finally get warm and eat his fill. His friends co-prisoners moreover ensure him an unprecedented luxury – to wash in warm water and dress in more decent "visitor´s" clothing. Arnošt then recalls a lecture on the Hippocratic Oath, obliging a physician to protect the sick from blemish and wrong-doing...The next day, a bus takes the prisoners who are receiving visits from the working camp to the town. Arnošt, full of hope, observes the first signs of spring and people living their ordinary but enviable lives. Groups of prisoners are gradually allowed to approach tables at which they can sit with their relatives for a while. Arnošt is the only one whom no one has come to see.

Note

The short story was filmed with an immensely difficult method – the so-called subjective camera, where the camera view is that of the main hero. The leading actor appears on the screen only sporadically; for example, in the reflection in a window. This method was demanding not only for the cameraman, who worked in long, uniterrupted shots, but also for the actors who looked directly "into the hero´s eyes"; i.e. to the camera lens. The film got as far as the stage of the two-track negative, but the production of the composite print was already banned.

Cast

Josef Šebek

vězeň Arnošt Pospíšil

Naďa Urbánková

zdravotní sestra Jiřina, Pospíšilova milá ve vzpomínkách

Petr Kostka

vězeň pasák a zloděj José Pěnkava

Otto Lackovič

vězeň pomocný dělník a vrah Vlado Bednár

Jaroslav Moučka

vězeň sedlák Eda Chmel

Radovan Lukavský

lektor na lékařské fakultě ve vzpomínkách

Antonín Kryl

vězeň Varga

Zdeněk Kutil

dozorce zvaný Zrzek

Václav Kotva

vězeň kostelník Procházka

Jaroslav Kepka

vězeň obchodní příručí Franta Epstein

Miroslav Saic

vězeň automechanik Jindra Miškovský

Miloš Červinka

vězeň válečný veterán Ruda Jaroš

Karel Smyczek

medik ve vzpomínce

Jaroslav Toms

medik ve vzpomínce

Arnošt Faltýnek

střelmistr v dole

Vilém Besser

dozorce zvaný Obkročák, zástupce velitele tábora

Karel Hábl

dozorce

Zdeněk Hodr

soudce ve vzpomínce

Miroslav Krajník

vězeň

Petr Skarke

vězeň

Josef Šulc

vězeň

Karel Bělohradský

vězeň Grivalský

Josef Šebánek

dozorce zvaný Baňour, velitel tábora

Josef Skrčený

vězeň, táborový skladník

H. Ruprichová

nahá žena v okně

J. Hanuš

vězeň Holeksa

J. Novotný

vězeň zvaný Farář

Dubbing

Jan Tříska

hlas Pospíšila

Crew and creators

Director

Otakar Fuka

Second Unit Director

Karel Kovář

Assistant Director

Milan Klacek, Helena Pokorná, Zdena Štekrová, Ivana Tokošová

Based on

Karel Pecka (Jeden obyčejný den – povídka ze sbírky Na co umírají muži)

Shooting Script

Otakar Fuka

Second Unit Photography

Ladislav Chroust

Production Designer

Přemek Longa

Set Designer

Karel Kočí, Bohuslav Varhaník, Bohuslav Chloupek

Costume Designer

Jarmila Konečná

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Jiří Kejř

Production Manager

Jaroslav Solnička

Unit Production Manager

Milan Štěch, František Jaderník

Unit Production Manager

Václav Polák

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šust

Music Performed by

FISYO

Songs

archivní, sborové písně padesátých let

Locations

Praha, Krušné hory

Production info

Original Title

Hippokratova přísaha

English Title

Hippocrates’s Oath

Copyright

1970

Production Year

1969 – 1970

Studio

Barrandov

Creative Group

Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor, Jiří Šebor

Technical info