The Elementary School


(out of 5)

Original title:  Obecna Skola

Jan Sverak’s best film is this delightful memoir of growing up in World War II Czechoslovakia. A little boy lives in his small village with his electrical engineer father and housewife mother, getting into all sorts of trouble at school with his other equally feisty classmates. When their teacher is replaced by a militant soldier, the kids think their fun is over; when we learn that the teacher has a weakness for beautiful young women, however, we know the fun is just beginning. Childhood antics are an old film staple, but in Sverak’s beautiful film, photographed in nostalgic golden colours, it all feels fresh and new and has a marvelous sense of adventure to it.

Czechoslovakia, 1991

Directed by

Story and screenplay by

Cinematography by

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1991

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