Slovakia, Germany | 2008 | 99min | 35mm | COLOR | Drama
Not far away from a small town, a few yards from the border line with a hostile capitalistic country, starts a funny and a bit black story about a chap who hoped that music will help him get on a sunny side of life. It is also a story about his friends, peers, desires and dreams about freedom in the 1970s and ‘80s Czechoslovakia in a very short and well guarded supply. A young man feels a gnawing frustration with his life. He is manipulated by his wife’s family and his thick co-workers; he is being brought down by the dullness of his daily life. This existential feeling gets even stronger when he hears good jazz music; when he feels that this is exactly what he yearns for, what he would be good at if it wasn’t for that frontier and the iron curtain there. At the same time his conviction grows that only music can help him to get out of the marasmus in which is up to his neck. A fatal request of his wife causes that he show his musical skill in public. A man who knows how to pull the strings looks him up. He knows how to help him and how to take advantage of his skill. But as it often happens, not everything turns out the way he wishes and his desires and passions bring him in a tangle of difficult and unpleasant situations. But he gains incredible experience and finds the freedom he was longing for, although not where he was looking for This tragicomic story takes place in the 1980s. In the meantime the political situation changed dramatically. The degree of political freedom, freedom of expression, movement and respect for human rights diametrically differs from what it used to be in communism, but the degree of inner freedom that can be reached only through self-understanding, through knowing one’s own self, is surprisingly similar if not identical.
Born in 1954 in Bratislava, Juraj Nvota is a stage, film and TV director and actor. He studied theater production at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. In 1982 he staged his first production in the Naive Theatre of Radosina. Since 1992 he has been the resident director for Astorka Korzo ‘90 theater in Bratislava. He also regularly works with the Studio Ypsilon in Prague. He is also an associate professor at the Theater School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. His feature film debut Cruel Joys won the Best Actor award at Moscow Int’l Film Festival in 2004. His second feature Muzika were given 9 national film awards by the Slovak Film Academy.