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V4 Film: Kolya

Date: 13 June 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Venue: Czech Embassy

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will screen "Kolya" (Kolja) on June 13, at 6 pm, as part of the V4 Film Series.  The Oscar-winning film unhinges the heart as a bachelor and boy must come to terms with living together. Sweet, subtle moments powerfully unfold the story that reveals a bond that touches the soul forever.

June 13, 6 pm
Kolya | Kolja
Directed by Jan Svěrák, 1996, 101 min., Czech with English subtitles       

Synopsis: Confirmed bachelor and cellist Franta Louka (Zdeněk Svěrák) performs for funerals and renovates tombstones, having lost his place with the state orchestra after being blacklisted by the communist regime. Tired of scraping by, Louka marries a Russian woman desiring Czech papers. The sham marriage, suggested by his grave-digger friend Mr. Broz, banks him a large sum of money. When she unexpectedly emigrates days after their marriage, Louka is left with her 5-year-old son Kolya (Andrej Chalimon). Set just before the Velvet Revolution, the poignant drama brings out the heart-felt beauty and gentleness of a boy and a man old enough to be his grandfather as they get to know each other. Neither speaks the other’s language, but the tender moments and actions draw them together.  The film is raw with emotion, from the silly antics of a bachelor, to the terrifying fear of losing a child and the undeniable love that develops –Kolya brings out the humanity that unites us regardless of our nationality. This year marks the 20th anniversary since the film received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, 1997.

Awards: Kolya garnered over 21 wins, including the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film (1997). It won the Czech Critics’ Award, and received Czech Lions for Best Film, Actress, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay, and Editing.                

About the Director: Jan Svěrák studied documentary at the Film and Television Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague.  His 1989 student film Oil Gobblers (Ropaci) won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Student Film, and his debut feature Elementary School (Obecná škola), written by his father, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1991 Academy Awards. He also directed such films as Dark Blue World (Tmavomodrý svet, 2001), Empties (Vratné lahve, 2007), and Three Brothers (Třií bratři, 2014).     

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

RSVP by June 12 to https://kolya.eventbrite.com