Drama - Development 2017

Jan is maturing into a man in communist Czechoslovakia of the 1970 ´s. To avoid being called up into the army he takes refuge in a psychiatric clinic where he gathers strength to flee the country. His tense crossing of the border moulds the core discord of whether it is possible to nd real freedom

    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Drama, Historical, Second film
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • CZECH
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 120 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Vit ZAPLETAL
    • Writer(s)
    • Vit ZAPLETAL, Radim VALAK
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis

    • ČSSR (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic), 1972. 23-year old Jan was expelled from his university. His seemingly harmonious relationship with the beautiful Helena is beginning to be undermined by the apocalyptic mood of the day. He is afraid that he is slowly turning into a collaborateor. They spend a blissful last evening together. A few days later Jan learns from the police that Helena has emigrated. His friend Zdeněk tries to persuade him to emigrate too. In the end, Jan agrees, above all, because he ́d hate to waste two years as a conscript. They begin to communicate with a people smuggler ́s go-be- tween. But everything is going at snail ́s pace and Jan has to take shelter as a fake patient at a Prague psychiatric clinic. He nds himself seriously depressed but the senior doctor (and accom- plice) helps him to gradually regain his spirit. Initially he isolates himself from the other patients but gradually takes on board their life stories and during long walks reassesses his perception of his own situation.
      Zdeněk informs him of the preparations on a regular basis, but then disappears. In the meantime, Jan becomes friendly with a mysterious patient called Magda. During their strolls in the grounds they plan a trip. When they are picking up his car an irritated and paranoid Zdeněk turns up after all. The original plan came to nought and there is nothing left but to try and conquer the border obstacles on their own. Jan doesn ́t want to get involved in an ad hoc operation. Zdeněk tries to convince him by describing his recent interrogation at the hands of the Secret Police.
      On their way to the Austrian border Jan tries to dissuade him. He realises his friend is carrying a gun. Zdeněk picks a good spot. They leave Magda in the nearest town and carrry on to the border itself by themselves. They come to an agreement that Jan will only go on if Zdeněk throws his gun away. Zdeněk agrees but wants to hang on to it for the time being and at the decisive moment, having wandered through a forest and arrive by the barbed wire fence, goes back on his word. Jan tries to change Zdeněk ́s mind one last time, but in the end returns alone. He then hears shots but isn ́t sure what exactly happened to Zdeněk. He gets back to the car and looks for Magda. He drives aimlessly through the countryside. Here, psychologically at rock bottom and at the end of his tether he (paradoxically) nds freedom.
    • Partners & financing
    • Czech Cinematography Fund, Barrandov Studios
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