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All My Good Countrymen 12 rating

Vojtěch Jasný’s enduring masterpiece chronicles the saga of Czech villagers forced into collective farms by their new Communist rulers.

Comedy 1968 115 mins

Director: Vojtech Jasny

Overview

Jasný’s enduring masterpiece chronicles the saga of Czech villagers forced into collective farms by their new Communist rulers. In the wrong hands, law and power are used with unprecedented ruthlessness. Neighbours become informers, incompetent people decide the future of others and little remains of the elation which reigned at the end of the war. At the centre is farmer František who refuses to submit, is imprisoned and in the end takes up the management of the deteriorating collective farm. The most heartfelt portrait of the countryside and its inhabitants, it depicts the drama of human destiny in conflict with power, violence and cruelty which had a pronounced influence on later films like Edgar Reitz's Heimat and Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon.

The winner of both the Best Director and the Jury Prizes at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival film, it was banned ‘forever’ by the Communist regime.

The 4K digital restoration is by the Národní filmový archív, Prague.

 

Part of the 25th Made in Prague Festival, 7 November – 10 December 2021, organised by the Czech Centre London.