Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Romaneto is a fictionalized biography of how the Czech writer Jakub Arbes came into his profession, timed to be released in 1981 so as to celebrate the 140 years since Arbes' birth. The title of the film refers to a sci-fi / mystery genre in the combined mode of Jules Verne (Arbes' contemporary) and Edgar Allen Poe that was created and developed by the Czech writer himself. The script for Romaneto was written by Rudolf Raz. In this story Arbes (Viktor Preiss) is the editor of a Prague newspaper, defending the workers' point of view in a tragic labor demonstration that left many workers dead. Since Arbes' militant stance against the iron-fisted Austrian and Hungarian officials makes him unpopular with his compatriots of weaker knees, he faces pressure from the powers that be to stop his politically charged newspaper editorials, and to stop his investigation of what really happened when the workers were killed. Rather than back down, Arbes decides to fire up his engines and continue on with his investigative work. In the meantime, he gets involved with a friend who insists there is buried treasure to be found in one particular open field (this is a fictional story by Arbes himself, titled The Holy Xaverius and written into the film). The denouement of the treasure hunt provides some comic relief to the serious issues at hand in Arbes crusade against injustice.