Giant and Skiers

Věra Plívová-Šimková, 1980

Film at Filmový přehled


Seasoned director Věra Plívová-Šimková added another accomplished, hit family movie to her filmography in 1980 with Krakonoš a lyžníci (Giant and Skiers). First-time screenwriter Jana Knitlová provided the experienced maker of films for children and young adults with a narrative that takes place in the Krkonoše Mountains at the start of the 20th century. The main characters in the story, set in romantic, snow-filled exteriors, are siblings Jenda and Matěj Pelč, who illicitly help out at a glassworks. The boys are lifted out of their daily routine by a famous smuggler who escapes the malevolent defenders of official justice – finance officers – using the latest invention from Norway: skies. The man, who for the Krkonoše’s residents embodies rebellion against the injustice of the imperial and royal authorities, transmits his passion for skiing not only to the curious boys but their teachers. However, the hunt for the smuggler is far from over… The whimsical story about how skis arrived in the Krkonoše offers young viewers a playful spectacle packed with humour, poetry and adventure. Social questions linked to the impoverishment of Czech glassmakers do not arise in the poeticised narrative. The charismatic Karel Heřmánek appears in the role of the smuggler, in whom the boy heroes see the only just man in the mountains, Krakonoš. The kind-hearted teacher, who supports patriotic reading among his pupils, was portrayed by Ondřej Havelka. In line with her previous practice, the director cast non-actors, whose natural performances contribute to the authentic atmosphere of the movie as a whole, in the children’s roles. The playful nature of the narrative is reinforced by the music of Petr Hapka. From a difficult shoot in the snow, experienced cinematographer Emil Sirotek succeeded in eliciting a visually compelling tribute to the mountain landscape, which goes through vivid changes in the period between Shrovetide and Easter… Giant and Skiers is justly one of the most popular films for children and young people produced in the 1970s and 1980s.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1980
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres children
Form feature
Duration 72 min
Director Věra Plívová-Šimková
Cast Milan Padalík, Jan Kreidl, Viktor Král, Vanda Krňanská, Ondřej Havelka, Karel Heřmánek
Director of photography Emil Sirotek
Screenplay Jana Knitlová
Editor Eva Bobková
Production designer Vladimír Labský
Music Petr Hapka
Sound designer Jiří Kříž, Karel Jaroš