Synopsis

We must root for ourselves. No one else will do it for us!

In this politically incorrect existential comedy, cravings, love, cheating, and fantasizing all play their part as the World Ice Hockey Championships play out on an old TV in a broken down pub in an almost uninhabited Czech border village.  Karel believes he runs a proper pub and that his wife, Zdena, loves him.  Zdena believes she’s in love with Milan, a bus driver who believes he’s destined to drive charters to the sea.  Josef, who’s darker than the average Czech, believes he has friends and that he isn’t a Gypsy. Jarda, who is disappointed by life, believes in next to nothing including his son.  The local alcoholic, Bohous, in his black-out visions, believes he sees the play-off games before they’re played.  Karel and Josef come to believe Bohous is their ticket to financial freedom. “We have to root for ourselves, because no one else will root for us!” is argued during a tough moment for the Czech team.  All the men agree.  In point of fact, each man is rooting only for himself, and “Champions” is their story.

COUNTRY
Czech Republic

GENRE
COMEDY, DRAMA

CO-PRODUCER
BARRANDOV STUDIO, CZECH TELEVISION, with the support of State Cinematography Fund (CZ)

RELEASE DATE
1. 4. 2004

SCREENING FORMATS
SD Files

RUNTIME
87 min

Trailer & Photogallery

Cast & Crew

DIRECTOR
MAREK NAJBRT

WRITER
MAREK NAJBRT, ROBERT GEISLER, BENJAMIN TUČEK

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
MILOSLAV HOLMAN

EDITOR
PAVEL HRDLIČKA

CAST
LEOŠ NOHA, KLÁRA MELÍŠKOVÁ, JIŘÍ ORNEST, JAN BUDAŘ, JOSEF POLÁŠEK, TOMÁŠ MATONOHA, CYRIL DROZDA, WILL SPOOR, JAN ŘEHÁK

MUSIC
PETR MAREK

SOUND DESIGNER
JIŘÍ MELCHER

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
MILAN BÝČEK

About the film

Champions is a grotesque picture of present-day national myths. It’s about people who have aspirations, who love and cheat, and who sometimes believe in nonsense just like the rest of us. But you have to cheer on the team yourself. No one else is going to do it for you!
For many Czechs ice hockey is a sacred space where they realise their own longing
for perfection, victory, admiration and power. A handful of protagonists living in a devastated village somewhere on the Czech border turn into such fans. In the course of the world championships they gather in front of a fading TV screen in the local pub, whose owner Karel, heavily in debt, no longer has the courage to ask them to pay for their orders. The lonely invalid Jarda, who hates the Roma, frequents the place, as do the honest Josef, whose main worry is that no one take him for a Roma, the neurotic Pavel from Prague, and the publican’s wife Zdena, who’s being eyed up by Jarda’s adolescent son and who loves the worldly driver whose bus forms the only link with the outside world… The filmmakers offer a bitter black comedy about emotional emptiness and human pettiness.