Karel Smyczek, 1987

Film at Filmový přehled


In the early 1980s, director Karel Smyczek, working with screenwriters Radek John and Ivo Pelant, made some remarkably successful motion pictures centred on adolescent heroes. Thanks to the critical tone and realistic sociological scope pursued by these films, they very much outdid the contemporary, optimistic tales being put out about teenagers at the time. Following the films Jen si tak trochu písknout (Just to Whistle a Bit, 1980), Jako zajíci (Like Rabbits, 1981) a Sněženky a machři (Snowdrops and Daredevils, 1982), Smyczek in 1987 shot the drama Proč? (Why?). Based on a screenplay written by the journalist and columnist John, the film is inspired by true events. The story follows a group of young Sparta Prague football fans who, en route to an away match in Bánská Bystřice, demolish a railcar, threaten other passengers and even try to throw a protesting Slovak conductress out of the window. The role of alcohol, and mutual goading with opposition fans, go so far that even railway station workers are afraid of standing up to the hooligans. Finally, in Bánská Bystrica, the police intervene... At the time of its release, the realistically portrayed film sparked lively debate. Even today Proč? amounts to an unadorned, convincing testimony presenting afflictions of the 1980s generation – young people without motivation or faith in the future, youngsters indeed who had been dispossessed of their aspirations by the socialist state. For the hooligans in the film, the venting of aggression has becomes a way to attract attention. The morally devastated protagonists end up on trial, but they and their parents refuse to take their share of responsibility for what has happened... Director Smyczek, together with cameraman Jaroslav Brabec, made the film in a documentary style, shooting in the cramped atmosphere of a real railway wagon. Several actors who would later achieve fame and success played adolescent fans (Jiří Langmajer, Martin Dejdar and Jan Potměšil). The directors Igor Chaun and Petr Vachler also feature in the film, in side roles. Emília Zimková performed the part of the conductress, while Smyczek himself stepped forward to play the part of the reporter who, at the conclusion of Proč?, asks random passersby for their views on the affair.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1987
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres drama
Form feature
Duration 86 min
Director Karel Smyczek
Cast Jiří Langmajer, Martin Sobotka, Pavel Zvarič, Pavlína Mourková, Jan Potměšil, Daniel Větrovský
Director of photography Jaroslav Brabec
Screenplay Radek John, Karel Smyczek
Editor Jan Svoboda
Production designer Boris Halmi
Music Michal Pavlíček
Sound designer Vojtěch Voráček