Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
Capturing the dark humor of Czech author Michal Viewegh's chronicle of life after the Velvet Revolution, this black comedy chronicles three decades in the life of a small Czech family. While the original novel centered on the protagonist Kvido from his conception through his adulthood, first time director Petr Nikolaev and screenwriter Jan Novak changed the focus to his parents Milena, an extremely self-effacing lawyer who acts on stage in her spare time, and Ales, a rather aimless government worker who tends to drift wherever the wind takes him. The lives of Ales and Milena change dramatically following the Russian invasion of Prague in 1968. Wanting to get away from the ensuing heat, Ales quits his job and moves to the country. Without the protection of Party membership, he and his brood are forced to live on the summer porch of a locked home until young Kvido reads a pro-communist speech at school. Ales's new job necessitates frequent travel abroad and it is during just such a journey that he indulges in a brief affair. Back at home, Kvido rekindles a relationship with an old flame. One night Ales gets caught meeting with a dissident writer and ends up demoted to gatekeeper. He goes into a deep funk until Kvido heeds his mother's suggestion and presents Ales with a grandchild, or at least what appears to be his grandchild. Though it is at first a small deception, it is one that has great effect upon the little family later.
actor, Communism, deception, extramarital-affair, family, family-in-danger, invasion, lawyer, romance, survivor, war, war-atrocities