Hodiny (1981)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Czechoslovakia  |  
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In Hodiny the cold days of winter are not the only challenge to the people living in a small village and working in the timber industry. One family suffers because the father is an alcoholic and cannot provide very well for his large brood of seven children -- he is increasingly succumbing to depression, a depression that will lead to suicide. The poverty-stricken mother makes a supreme sacrifice by giving one of her children away to a neighbor woman who cannot conceive. The neighbor woman herself is suffering because her husband has lost his horse to a fall down the mountainside and he does not know how they will manage to survive without it. Meanwhile, the oldest daughter of the alcoholic is date-raped by her boyfriend and becomes pregnant. Their wedding is scheduled, against her wishes -- the daughter especially does not want to marry the man and end up worse than her mother -- and so she convinces the unwanted future husband to escape the village before the wedding can occur, when the celebrations are still going on. The boyfriend gets into a car and races away down the icy roads, obviously in danger from his reckless speed. The term "hodiny" means to turn the wheel of a skidding car in the opposite direction of the skid -- which has a meaning on several levels in this forgotten village.

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Keywords

alcoholism, date-rape, depression, poverty, pregnancy, self-sacrifice, suicide, wedding