Alcoholism permeates this psychological drama, created in 1981 by František Vláčil according to a screenplay by Irena Charvátová. The film is bereft of any kind of consoling, optimistic angle to the issue at hand. The story’s protagonist is a girl called Vladka who after her mother’s death decides to seek out her father whom she has never gotten to know. For the naïve 18 year-old student, the worn-out face of driller Jan Veselý embodies hope. The habitual drunkard proves, however, incapable of pulling himself out of his devastated existence… In Vláčil’s sensitive hands this simple story playing out amidst the snowy backdrop of a severe winter becomes a dark testimony to the impossibility of change which, along with an autobiographical undertone, also has an overarching metaphorical meaning bringing the spiritual gloom of the early 1980s nearer. The beautiful black and white photography by cameraman František Uldrich and the exceptionally convincing acting performances of Josef Vinklář and Ilona Svobodová underscore the film’s austere, narrative style.
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