Recovering alcoholic Jan Holman comes to the Czech Republic to shoot a documentary about an alcohol treatment center. There he meets singer-songwriter Jaromír Nohavica and his ‘guardian angel’ Karel Plíhal. Karel Plíhal stages a rehearsal of his own funeral. The mournful procession is accompanied by the music of Čechomor.
Karel Holas, Čechomor’s fiddle player, is employed by an upper-class hotel to entertain guests in the elevator. During one particular ride he plays for Sydney opera conductor Jaz Coleman, the ex-singer for the British band Killing Joke. Jaz offers Čechomor the chance to tour with the symphony. In the end, Čechomor opts for Nohavica. Nohavica’s recovery so fascinates Dutch documentarist Holman that he decides to shelve his original plans and follow the musicians on tour. What originally starts out as a normal concert tour soon ends up as a series of strange, sometimes supernatural experiences climaxing in a ritualistic ceremony at the bottom of a strip mine.
CZECH TELEVISION, WITH THE SUPPORT OF STATE CINEMATOGRAPHY FUND (CZ), ČESTMÍR KOPECKÝ
7. 3. 2002
35 MM, HD FILES
Cast & Crew
WRITER AND DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
JAROMÍR NOHAVICA, KAREL PLÍHAL, ČECHOMOR, JAZ KOLEMAN, JAN PRENT
KAREL HOLAS, ČECHOMOR, JAROMÍR NOHAVICA
About the film
After writing the screenplay for The Loners, Petr Zelenka has once again returned to directing. Last year he tried his hand at directing for the stage, working on a production of his own play Tales of Ordinary Madness (with nods to Bukowski) for Prague’s Dejvice Theater. His latest film, The Year of the Devil, premiered this March. It involves a fictional storyline based on the actual lives of actual people. The film is hard to categorize and the plot, as with his last feature film Mňága – Happy End, is difficult to put into words.
Petr Zelenka came up with the idea of making a film starring Jarek Nohavica and Čechomor when they embarked on a short concert tour together in the summer of 2000. Nearly two years passed between the inception of the film as an idea and its realization; during that time a central notion was discovered capable of tying together each of the film’s main elements: Nohavica’s songwriting, Čechomor’s musical energy, and Zelenka’s absurdly comic ideas.
The film was made at a variety of locations in the Czech Republic in May and June of 2001, with the filmmakers shooting both acted scenes and equally important concert footage from the Nohavica&Čechomor tour. The climax came at a sold-out concert in Prague when 35 days of filming came to an end before an audience of more than 2,000 fans.