Grandmothers Get Boosted

Ladislav Rychman, 1983

Film at Filmový přehled


The director Ladislav Rychman became famous in the 1960s for ambitious genre-based projects (the musicals Starci na chmelu [Hop-Pickers], Dáma na kolejích [Lady on the Tracks] and the whodunit Zločin v dívčí škole [The Crime at the Girl’s School]). The “normalisation” era of Soviet entrenchment after the Warsaw Pact invasion became a complicated period for the aging filmmaker. The 1983 comedy “Babičky dobíjejte přesně!” (Grandmothers Get Boosted) represents the director’s interesting dalliance with the sci-fi genre. In this tale, inspired by a Zdeněk Hřebík short story, Rychman and his fellow screenwriter, writer, and columnist Jiří Just, play on the absurd theme of a domestic robot who has been programmed to have the utmost love for “her” family. At the same time, with exaggerated dark humour, it reflects on the “caregiving” role that normalisation society assigned to senior citizens. In the film, working women cannot manage their domestic duties, so the Biotex company comes up with a revolutionary way of improving their situation: electronic grandmothers. After much hesitation, the fiercely conscientious Róza 350 GLS model is acquired by the Louda household, but she soon causes problems for her owners. Moreover, an open war of attrition breaks out between her and the neighbour’s robotic helper, Carmen, which ends up threatening the lives of the children… The classic story also satirises the dismal relations between the neighbours, who are capable of ruthlessly harming each other for the benefit of their own affluence. Although this bizarrely conceived film remains a curiosity among viewers from the post-1989 generation who are familiar with international sci-fi productions, it has still acquired a certain cult status. The experienced actresses Libuše Havelková and Jana Dítětová make good use of their sense of humour as the ominously benevolent, murderously hostile robots. The theme of a scary robot caregiver had already appeared in Czech cinema in Jiří Trnka’s short puppet film Kybernetická babička (The Cybernetic Grandma, 1962), but it favoured a passionate, humanistic approach over satirical exaggeration.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1983
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres comedy, sci-fi, black comedy
Form feature
Duration 82 min
Director Ladislav Rychman
Cast Jiří Lábus, Daniela Kolářová, Kateřina Urbancová, Petr Frolík, Libuše Havelková, Jana Dítětová
Director of photography Antonín Holub
Screenplay Jiří Just, Ladislav Rychman
Editor Miroslav Hájek
Production designer Oldřich Bosák
Music Petr a Pavel Orm
Sound designer Milan R. Novotný