A rhythmical of the totalitarian age amidst the sulfur-laden air of Ostrava’s ste­el mills.

Czechoslovakia 1990
  • English
89 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

When young engineer Mirek arrives at a factory in order to work on a project to reduce emissions, he is confronted by incompetent bosses maintaining an ossified order. Dubbed a “rhythmical of the totalitarian age,” the original story plays out amidst the sulfur-laden air of Ostrava’s steel mills. The film’s creators peppered their tale with a distinctive sense of humor, troupe recitations, and a catchy saxophone leitmotif. Smoke was made in a turbulent period when filmmakers split their time between rehearsing scenes and going on strike. It was shown in cinemas in 1991, but post-revolution audiences were not drawn by its dark mood, and critics were equally unimpressed. But with the passage of time the movie has achieved cult status, and today’s third generation of fans knows that “Arnoštek is simply divine.”

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Director: Tomáš Vorel
Screenplay: Lumír Tuček, Tomáš Vorel
Cinematography: Martin Duba
Music: Michal Vích
Sound: Tomáš Janeček, Jiří Moudrý, Jiří Kříž
Editing: Jiří Brožek
Production Design: Michal Krška
Producer: Jaroslav Bouček
Costumes: Simona Rybáková
Cast: Jan Slovák, Lucie Zedníčková, Eva Holubová, David Vávra, Jaroslav Dušek, Petr Čtvrtníček, Šimon Caban, Aleš Najbrt, Radomil Uhlíř
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.