All My Compatriots
1968 / Czechoslovakia / Drama / ComedyDigitally restored
The foundation “Czech flails” devoted the year 2013 to the renovation of the legendary movie “All My Compatriots”. The film is considered one of the most famous titles in Czechoslovakian cinema. It’s the paramount creation of Vojtěch Jasný, drawing on all of his life experiences. It is both humane and cinematic. The restoration of “All My Compatriots” was possible due to the financial support of Lenka Romanová and Martin Roman.
To film a story based upon the post-war life of people in the countryside was a dream Jasný had from the very beginning of his career. His mother played a very important role in making this dream a reality, since she gathered stories about various “Compatriots” from her home village Kelč all throughout the end of the war until her death in 1955. Nevertheless the shooting of the movie did not start before 1968, when the author’s screenplay effort and the vision of Jaroslav Kučera (one of the best Czech cinematographers) finally came together. Designer Ester Krumbachová rounded out the team, playing a significant role in the final tone of the film.
The chronicle that is made up from a prologue, nine time managed chants from May 1945 to the winter of 1958 is supplemented by an epilogue that led compatriots into the time of the films making. The story follows a group of friends in a Moravian village who have to face a difficult challenge with the name of collectivisation. Vojtěch Jasný drew on the lives of similar people.
Shortly after its premiere in 1969, the movie was banned and remained locked up in a vault for the next twenty years. But before this occurred, “Compatriots” was awarded prizes for cinematography and directing at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 1969.
Curiosities from Filming
As a matter of fact the movie was not shot in Kelč, where Jasný was born, but in a Moravian village Bystrá, that Vojtěch Jasný elected on the grounds of the suggestion of Jaroslav Kučera, the cameraman. The residents were very social and agreed with the screenplay’s depiction of the village’s evolution after the war; they felt it was identical to what they actually went through themselves. Jasný planned to shoot the movie throughout the whole year with short breaks. He encouraged his actors to live with the villagers in order to create good relations and let them influence each other.
The author laid great expectations on his actors. He took his time choosing a balance of professionals and non-actors, as he needed his actors to have both musical skill and a believable south Moravian accent. Nevertheless right from the start he knew that Vlastimil Brodský and Václav Babka where his best choices. Brodský was supposed to play Franta Lampa and Babka was to portray the organist Očenáš – but the actors decided amongst themselves that they would switch their roles, which, as it turned out, was an excellent idea. The director also dearly wanted, and even wrote a part especially for, the actor Vladimír Menšík. The role of Zášinek was originally meant to be portrayed by Jiří Slovák but he unfortunately became ill with hepatitis, so Jasný picked Waldemar Matuška, whose great qualities more than made up for the lost actor.
The most pronounced character of the movie was Radoslav Brzobohatý. Unlike his predecessor, the actor was taller and more robust in real life. But this so-called handicap did not disadvantage him or the way he portrayed František in any way.
The movie restauration
The ceremonial premiere of ‘All My Compatriots’ took place on Saturday June 29th in the event of the 48th annual international film festival in Karlovy Vary. The projection included a short film about the making of ‘All My Compatriots’ directed by Miroslav Ondruš. Specialists from studio UPP, the National Film Archive, Association of Cameramen and studio Soundsquare all came together for the restoration of Jasný´s creation. The digital alterations involved 170 thousand film shots. Experts from the UPP worked for more than 3,000 hours in the restoration of the movie, and faced about five million impurities from the image. Studio Soundsquare had cleaned the soundtrack of around three and a half kilometres of film reel.
The goal of the restoration work, the price of which escalated to 1.2 million crowns, was to deliver the version of the movie that was seen and heard in home theatres by its very first viewers.
- Directed by
- Vojtěch Jasný
- Vojtěch Jasný
- Radoslav Brzobohatý (peasant František), Věra Galatíková (František ‘s wife), Vlastimil Brodský (organist Očenáš, chairman of KSČ), Eva Blažková (wife of Očenáš), Waldemar Matuška (peasant Zášinek), Marie Málková (Zdena, Zášinek´s wife), Vladimír Menšík (Jořka Pyřk aka Kradák), Pavel Pavlovský (postman Bertin), Drahomíra Hofmanová (Macháček ‘s widow aka the happy widow), Václav Babka (tailor Franta aka Lampa), Růžena Merunková (Lamp´s wife), Jiří Tomek (foreman Máčala, secretary of the national committee), Václav Lohniský (cottager Zejvala, chairman of the cooperative), Ilja Prachař (photographer Josef Plecmera), Jaroslava Vysloužilová (Fana, Plecmera´s wife), Karel Augusta (mason Joza Trňa), Helena Růžičková (landlady Božka), Zdeněk Kutil (Arnošt), Jaroslava Tichá (Anděla, Zášinka´s housekeeper), Oldřich Slavík (chaplain), Alexandra Korytová (Marie, František ‘s daughter - child), Michaela Černá (Marie, František´s daughter - teenager), Josef Hlinomaz (painter), Svatopluk Skládal (businessman Juchta), Karel Vochoč (Peton, new chairman of the national committee), Vladimír Ptáček (butcher Rabona), Milan Sandhaus (peasant Jindřich Kurfiřt), Ivana Bílková (Kufřit´s wife), Oldřich Velen (member of the VB), Ludmila Lebedová (teacher), Oldřich Vykypěl (priest), Lubomír Kostelka (Véna), Jiří Kodet (member of the SNB with a moustache), Jindřich Bonaventura, Jaromír Knittl, Bohumil Koška, Josef Dziedzic, Jaromír Hons, Otakar Horký (musicians), Adolf Peterka (peasant), Miroslav Částek (saxofone player), František Kašpar (tuner), Jana Marková (Emča), Zdeněk Novák (clerk Peroutka), Bohuš Pastorek (doctor), Jiří Plachý (Fanoš), Jan Báča, Milada Burešová, Antonín Divoký, František Dostál, Leopold Fric, Jan Mauer, Anna Navrátilová, Jiří Němec, Rudolf Staud, Jan Štafa, František Unčovský
- Jaroslav Kučera
- Dobroslav Šrámek