A Carriage Going to Vienna

A WWII story of a young Austrian soldier running from the Russian army and a woman whom he forces to come along in order to save his wounded mate.

Kočár do Vídně
Czechoslovakia 1966
  • Czech
  • English
85 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

It’s the last days of the war and Krista is forced to take two Wehrmacht soldiers to the Austrian border in her wagon. One of them is seriously wounded, the other is a terrified rookie. The countrywoman hides an axe in the cart under the straw because she has something quite different in mind… The only backdrop to this deliberately paced drama, which unfolds in a single day, is a long forest road immersed in a silence only occasionally broken by the sounds of the accompanying organ music. The latter contrasts sharply with the raw images and brutal scenes and, by degrees, helps to create the illusion that the forest, with its columns of trees, is slowly transforming into a church – namely the place where we atone for our actions, where we are punished for them, and where we receive absolution. Or where we cast thoughts of bad deeds from our minds, like Krista with her intention to exact a bloody revenge on the soldiers for her husband’s death. During the mid-1960s the film offered a completely novel treatment of the war theme since it rejected the division of the opposing sides into evil Germans and good Czechs, instead portraying the widespread degradation of man in a decayed, violent era.

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Director: Karel Kachyňa
Based on: Jan Procházka
Screenplay: Jan Procházka, Karel Kachyňa
Cinematography: Josef Illík
Music: Jan Novák
Sound: Jiří Lenoch
Editing: Miroslav Hájek
Production Design: Leoš Karen
Producer: Jaroslav Kučera
Costumes: Ester Krumbachová
Cast: Iva Janžurová, Jaromír Hanzlík, Luděk Munzar, Ladislav Jandoš, Zdeněk Jarolímek, Ivo Niederle, Vladimír Ptáček, Jiří Žák

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

1966 – Karel Kachyňa (Crystal Globe – Best Film)

  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.