Jiří Trnka: A Long Lost Friend

A French filmmaker tries to track down the destiny of his favorite childhood film and its maker, Jiří Trnka, against the backdrop of the Cold War.

Jiří Trnka: Nalezený přítel
Czechia, France 2019
  • Czech
  • English
80 min.

Joel Farges, a French filmmaker in his 60s, tries to track down the destiny of his favorite childhood film, Prince Bajaja by Jiří Trnka, whose work used to be popular also in France. Trnka’s career peaked during the Cold War and his films were presented as an artistic counterweight to commercial production of Disney. Leftist western intellectuals were amazed; Trnka’s films were narrated by Jean Cocteau and Richard Burton, winning prizes in Cannes and Venice, and for the totalitarian regime they were a valuable export article. Trnka found he had become a puppet himself – a puppet of the political system. His disillusion led him to revolt. He left us a body of work celebrating a unique experience, the freedom associated with eternal youth.

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Director: Joël Farges
Screenplay: Tereza Brdečková, Joël Farges
Cinematography: Lukáš Hyksa
Editing: Adéla Špaljová
Producer: Vladimír Lhoták, Alena Müllerová
Cast: Réginald Huguenin, Tereza Brdečková, Edgar Dutka, Jiří Trnka (a.z.), Adam Šrámek