A sequel to a Czech cult film Bony a klid (1988) about a group of money dealers, who trafficked foreign currencies and so called "bony" during the Communist era. Bony served as exchange ... See full summary »
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I Leave It Up To You
by Charles Shaw & Silvia Brown See more »
What are Bony? Here is an explanation.
Well i grew up in the communist Czechoslovakia and here are some fact to explain the movie. I hope it will help you to understand the movie.
Bony = special currency used only in special stores called Tuzex, which featured consumer products from wester countries. Thats why all the crooks (aka. Vekslaci) stand in front of the Tuzex store.
Klid = peace of mind ...
Vekslaci (plural) Vekslak (singular) = from German word Wechsel meaning to exchange currency (i think) ... "hustlers" dealing with foreign currency ... which was illegal in communist Czechoslovakia. Sometimes they went really big and became a real mafia with corrupt officials working for them, see character Karel how he's chatting with his friend, a judge.
Few facts about the planned communist economy:
1. Czechoslovak citizen were forbidden to own large amounts of foreign currency while in the country. If foreign currency was brought to a bank it was exchanged for Crowns or Bony. It was necessary to exchange foreign currency to obtain Bony. Since Tuzex store were accepting only Bony, they were extremely desirable thing to own and a whole criminal circle of gangs developed around it.
2. At the time of the filming, Radek John's salary was 1800Kcs (or Crowns), about 22000 a year. A hard working Vekslak could make even 1-2 million Crowns. Quite a difference.
3. Phase one of the deal: Vekslak went on a bus full of foreign tourists and exchanged Czechoslovak Crowns for some foreign currency. Phase Two: Vekslak changed the currency in a bank for some Bony. Phase Three: Vekslak was selling Bony in front of Tuzex at a high rate. Or they were also offering foreign currency if someone wanted, and therefore skipping phase two.
4. Tuzex store functioned this way: Communists did goods exchange with western countries, for example, Semtex explosives for Lego toys or Swiss watches ... etc. Comunists kept the foreign currency and top officials had luxurious villas and cars that they kept in Switzerland and other countries.
5. The top Czechoslovak exports were: Weapons and Semtex explosives. Most common goods in Tuzex were: Brand name Jeans (especially Levi's and Wrangler), Watches, Lego, and fine cognacs and sweets ... as far as i remember. That's why Vekslaci all wore Levi's, swiss watches.
6. Vekslaci sometimes started to bring foreign goods such as Porno videos and some electronics that was impossible to get even at Tuzex stores.
7. Film Bony and Klid was banned by communist party, however someone somehow got hold of a film played it ones in a movie theater and made a Video screener out of it before the film was locked for good. The movie became a hit on the black market and was selling for even 500 Crowns. A year later the communist party officially released the movie in the movie theaters, since they knew that it is already out on the street.
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