Výchova dívek v Cechách (1997) Poster

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A Czech Film On Romance, Growing Up And Literature
marcingrzesiak29 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The movie "Vychova divek v Cechách" tells a story of Oskar Wegh, a teacher and a writer. He lives a dump life in post-communist, Czech reality with his wife and a kid. His writing finds little recognition, so Oskar is forced to pick up a frustrating job as a school teacher. One day, he receives a letter from a wealthy Mr. Cisar, who offers a far easier job and easy money, too. He wants Oskar to teach his daughter Beata so called "creative writing". Oskar imagines this task could be a great idea for his next novel...

*** Spoilers ***

Beata turns out to be almost 20, she is rebellious and full of energy, but also in a depression. She desperately needs attention. Oskar begins a relationship with her: at the beginning he tries to get her to speak, but soon he realizes she represents everything his present life lacks (money, happiness, love, sex). The couple starts a sweet and intense romance. Beata manages to get out of her sickness, but she is still immature and looking for her own identity and true self. She dumps Oskar and is subsequently a punk, a rebellious antyglobalist, a church-going nice-girl. The artist, on the other hand, uses her to find incentives for his writing, but he did not suspect he could fall in love...

*** End of Spoilers ***

The film is Czech to the bone. The actors and locations couldn't be mistaken for any other country (not in East Europe, at least). The sense of humor is ironical and very often hidden between the lines. I was especially moved by performances of both main characters - Ondrej Pavelka, who plays Oskar, is very convincing as the shabby teacher and Anna Geislerová, a popular Czech actress, who was Beata in the picture, is extremely alluring and natural.

An important part of "Vychova divek v Cechách" is an analysis of the process of creating literature. One doesn't really know, if the whole story really happens or if it is just Oscar's plain imagination. There is a clear similarity to Oscar Wilde and his bon-mots. Our Oskar also quotes many of such witticisms. What is more, there are a couple of Czech writers' quotes shown throughout the movie, which comment and are tips for subsequent parts of the movie.

An important message of the film is showing how people mature emotionally - it concerns both Oskar and Beata, but they are wholly different characters and tackle their path to adolescence differently.

The movie is worth watching for its unique Czech humor, great acting, an adventurous trip to adolescence and, most of all, because is a fascinating binding of two great arts: Cinema and Literature.
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