(out of 5)

A young woman working for the Czech resistance in Nazi-occupied Prague is in danger when she and her surgeon lover are close to being exposed. A man whose life she saved through a blood transfusion agrees to take her with him to his mountain village of Zelary to hide her there as his wife. Having to go through the entire motions of marriage and cohabitation in order to avoid arousing the suspicion of the other villagers, these two completely opposite people find a strong bond between them. She manages to adapt to the much slower pace of country living, even becoming good friends with the locals, while he realizes that he will do anything to protect her from harm. This beautiful film by Ondrej Trojan is blessed with sensitive direction that never allows the focal relationship to get too maudlin; their growing attraction to each other is spontaneous and natural without ever seeming manipulative. The photography is gorgeous, and the suspense that grows towards the climax in the third act is almost unbearable once you’ve really come to care for these richly drawn characters.

ALEF Film & Media Group, Barrandov Studios, Ceská Televize, Dor Film Produktionsgesellschaft, Total HelpArt T.H.A., Österreichischer Rundfunk

Czech Republic/Slovakia/Austria, 2003

Directed by 

Screenplay by , based on the novel Jozova Hanule by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by Ondrej Trojan

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards:  2003



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