Catherine and Her Children

Václav Gajer, 1970

Film at Filmový přehled


This village-based 1970 drama from director Václav Gajer met with the same fate as a slew of other films suddenly subjected to the “normalisation-era” whims of the censor. But its pessimistic and existential tone, reflecting the nature of Czechoslovak New Wave films of the 1960s, was left intact nonetheless. Consequently, this raw, brooding story set in a forgotten mountain village somewhere in the Beskydy Mountains only made its way to cinemas in 1975, five years after completion. The heroes of the story are women – widow Kateřina Valigurová and her three daughters, all fruitlessly seeking a safe place to settle in a male-dominated world. In the end, they are forced to rely on their own strengths and women’s solidarity. The film benefits from ethereal cinematography by Jan Čuřík, a timeless natural backdrop, and also top-notch performances by lesser-known actors (somewhat tainted by efforts to have the principals speak in Moravian Wallachian dialects). It is regarded as the strongest of Gajer’s films; in subsequent years, the director opted for non-controversial escapist children’s movies.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1970
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres drama
Form feature
Duration 78 min
Director Václav Gajer
Cast Zora Rozsypalová, Drahomíra Hofmanová, Jorga Kotrbová, Jana Vychodilová, Karel Augusta, Václav Sloup
Director of photography Jan Čuřík
Screenplay Jiří Křenek, Václav Gajer
Editor Zdeněk Stehlík
Production designer Bohuslav Kulič
Music Miloš Vacek
Sound designer Emil Poledník