Way Through the Bleak Woods

Black-and-white parable set in Šumava on the eve of the First World War.

Cesta pustým lesem
Czechia 1997
  • English
85 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

A strongly lyrical, quasi-balladic black-and-white piece that acquaints us with fragments of the lives of people from a small village hidden in the depths of the Bohemian Forest. The characters appear to move about in a state of timelessness; their inner solitude, frustrated desires, and the sense that they are condemned to perpetual wandering do not inspire hope that they will find a way out. The visually powerful leitmotif of the sylvan labyrinth, in which paths disappear between the tall trees or beneath a mantle of snow, thus acquires symbolic value. News of the outbreak of World War I at the end of the film only heightens the bleakness of the message conveyed by documentarist Ivan Vojnár in his feature film directorial debut.

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Director: Ivan Vojnár
Screenplay: Ivan Arsenjev, Jiří Soukup
Cinematography: Jaromír Kačer
Music: Irena a Vojtěch Havlovi
Sound: Miroslav Hřebejk
Editing: Alois Fišárek
Production Design: Vladimír Labský, Jan Tobola
Producer: Galina Šustová, Čestmír Kopecký
Costumes: Jan Tobola
Cast: Pavel Landovský, Jana Dolanská, Eliška Sirová, Václav Koubek, Jiří Soukup, Matěj Hádek, Terezka Tobolová, Vojtěch Kristen

Czech Lions

1997 – Vladimír Labský (Best Design Achievement)

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