Directed by Ondrej Trojan, 2004
Staring Ana Geislerova , Ivan Trojan, Gyorgy Cserhalmi
Click here to see the rest of this review
Even though Czechoslovakia is under Nazi occupation in 1943, Eliska (Ana Geislerova) and her fiancee Richard (Ivan Trojan) are still enjoying the good life in Prague. Richard and Eliska work together in a hospital where he is a doctor and Eliska helps out in the wards as her medical studies have been interrupted as a result of the Nazis closing down the university. Eliska and Richard are also involved with the anti-Nazi underground which adds an element of danger to their lives. As the movie opens Richard and Eliska are settling in at Richard's opulent apartment after a night on the town when Richard is called to the hospital to operate on a woodcutter named Joza Janda (Gyorgy Cserhalmi) from a remote mountain area who has been severely injured in a sawmill accident. Eliska accompanies Richard to the hospital and, when it is determined that Eliska is the only one available who has the same blood type as Joza, she donates the blood that saves Joza's life.
A few weeks later the Nazi SS arrests members of the underground cell that Eliska and Richard belong to and this puts both in immediate danger of arrest. Richard, warned first, is able to escape to the U.S. But, by the time other members of the underground locate and warn Eliska it is too late to escape abroad. With the SS looking for her in Prague and at the border, it is decided that the safest thing would be to send her home with Joza to the remote village of Zelary where he lives. With false papers and a new name, Hana, she makes the long trek by train and then by wagon from cosmopolitan Prague to rustic Zelary. With no place to hide in tiny Zelary, Eliska/Hana is forced to marry Joza, a fifty something bachelor, in order to protect her secret. Cut off from her lover, hiding from the Nazis, living in a tiny village that is light years behind Prague in terms of amenities and social life, and forced by necessity into a marriage with the crude and illiterate woodsman, Joza, life for Eliska/Hana seems impossible. But, with her own inner strength and Joza's love and patience she adapts and finds her place in Zelary. Accepting her fate, she begins to reciprocate Joza's love and soon finds herself coming to love Joza and enjoy her life in Zelary.
Because of its remoteness, Zelary has little contact with the war. It is only in the very last days of the war that the fighting reaches the village. For the most part this is a human drama set against the backdrop of World War II rather than a typical war movie.
The review of this Movie prepared by Chuck Nugent