Divka S Musli (1981)

Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - Czechoslovakia  |  
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In this drama about Vendulka (Dita Kaplanova), a young 13-year-old girl who struggles to keep her head above water while taking care of her three half-brothers and an alcoholic mother, the process of marginalization and self-perpetuating poverty is given a close scrutiny. Vendulka's mother (Evelyna Steimarova) is a cleaning lady who spends all her time with boyfriends and drinking and leaves the care of the household to Vendulka. The young girl tries valiantly to do the work, to basically be a "mother" to her mother and brothers and stay abreast with her studies in school -- yet there are already too many strikes against her. In order to keep the family going, she is forced to miss school and that makes her appear delinquent to her teachers. Carrying burdens far beyond her years, Vendulka seems fated to suffer an inevitable failure, as does the society that has let her situation slip through the cracks.

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Keywords

alcoholism, boyfriend, child, cleaning-woman, dysfunctional, family, head-of-household, poverty, teenagers