Poupata

Czech Republic

Synopsis

The family of Jarda Hrdina lives in a remote small town near the border. Jarda works as a signalman on the railway. His hobby is making matchstick models in bottles, and his weakness is his addiction to playing slot machines. Jarda’s wife Kamila is a cleaning woman at the railway station’s public toilets. It is her dream to rehearse, together with her peers, the song “Poupata” (flower buds) which they performed at the state-sponsored Spartakiada festival of physical culture twenty-five years previously, and then to perform it for the whole town. Their children, Agáta and Honza, who have just become of age, are without work, without money and without illusions. Honza’s crowd spends their time in the local pub, and together with his friend Cyril he grows cannabis in the basement of their housing project. Agáta senses that she hardly has a chance to get out of the tedium of provincial life. Unplanned, she has become pregnant by the local dandy, Matěj. The only person she confesses her secret to is her friend Magda.

Director's Statement

Both the main and supporting roles were cast with actors whose style is easy-going and empathetic. The choice of actors was guided, among other things, by their social intelligence and the veracity of their acting style. A good model for directing actors was free cinema. The actors were partly given room for improvisation, and the sense of their co-authorship was enhanced by their being asked to edit dialogue, so that it fitted “coming from their mouths”. I want everyone in the crew to care about the result, and to want to be involved in the film as a creative contributor. For this reason, I wanted to organise a crew meeting before the film in order to motivate people, and make them feel that without them the film would not be as good as with their contribution. We have been approaching the best professionals in their field (among others the DP Vladimír Smutný, who has been awarded with the Czech Lion five times).
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Zdeněk Jiráský

Written by: Zdeněk Jiráský

Produced by: Viktor Schwarcz, Jaroslav Kucera, Jordi Niubo

Cinematography: Vladimír Smutný

Editing: Petr Turyna

Production Design: Jan Novotný

Original Score: Martin Přikryl, The Prostitutes, Michal David

Cast: Vladimir Javorsky (Jarda), Małgorzata Pikus (Kamila), Marika Šoposká (Agáta), Josef Láska (Honza), Aneta Krejčíková (Zuzana)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2012