Kolya (1996) Script


with Sceenplay by Story by Music by Sound by Film Editor

Art Director

Director of Photography


Produced by

Directed by

The Lord is my shepherd.

I'll not want.

He makes me down to lie

in green pastures.

And leads me...

...the quiet...

...waters by.

You pig! Grow up, can't you?

Coffee anyone?

Franta? No, I must dash.

Another job? You must be rolling in it.

Can you lend me a hundred till Monday? You'll get it back.

I know. Or I wouldn't lend it.


At last!

Your car is ideal. So practical.

Get yourself a Trabant.

You simply can't keep up. I'm sorry, but you can't.

There are plenty of lesser cellists who can play at funerals.

How much is a Trabant?

New or second-hand? Second-hand.

You'd need a hatch-back. Twenty, twenty-five thousand.

Slow down.

They looked better from behind.

That's why I didn't look round.

Bills, bills!

Vultures, the lot of you.

Helenka. It's me, Louka.

I suddenly felt so lonely so guess who I thought of?

You, of course.

Would you be scared to spend a night in my 'tower'?

To the theatre?

No, I'm not cross. How could I be?

Run along then. 'Bye.

Zuzi? It's me, Louka.

Zuzi, I suddenly felt so lonely so guess who I thought of?

Oh, he's home?

Right. 'Bye.


Czechoslovak socialism is now more democratic but unchanged in essence.

Economically inefficient, it has no regard for human dignity.

It's on the point of collapse.

Twenty thousand...

...for Trabant needing repair. Daylight robbery!

This is Radio Free Europe.

Good morning.

The lettering needs restoring, doesn't it?

It's the rain I could put it right.

I restore headstones.

And it's cheap. A gold letter costs five crowns. Silver costs three.

I recommend gold. The silver wouldn't stand out.

How much would you charge?

There aren't many letters.

Thirty-six letters. That would be one hundred and eighty crowns.

Why is it so expensive?

Because you have to use...

...real gold dust.

Pity there are two T's in his name. You'd have saved five crowns.


You won't recognize the grave next time, Mrs Horáčková.

All in gold.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

And leads me...

...the quiet waters by.

Do you know how long I've waited for this?

Two years. Ever since that usherette's funeral.

It's awful All that time!

No, awful that we measure time in funerals - like funeral directors.

You were never married, do you?

My late father always said...

If you want a musical career, don't marry.

Stay single.

Celibate, no kissing.

Do you always get hiccups?

Yes, always afterwards.

When it's... that good.

Try this.

Bite your little finger.

It puts pressure on the hiccup points.

Or try lifting your left leg at the same time as your right arm...

...so the blood drains out.

First time I heard that. What's that noise?

It's the pigeons.

Sharpening their beaks on the window sill.

I must have got it wrong Lift up your left leg.

That's my right leg.

The other way about then.

Why did they chuck you out of the Philharmonic?

I don't feel like talking about it.

Then don't.

Guess what? It works.

I told you it would.

Why are they sharpening their beaks?

That's easily explained.

So they're sharp.

You are an idiot!

Hi, comrade God bless you too.

I've loads of orders for you. Three in gold, two in silver.

Here you are.

It's all written down.

Mr Broz, a grave-digger like you brings joy to the whole cemetery.

You're doing it so well.

I'm trying not to smudge it.

Mr. Louka, tell us about the concert in America.

Which one? The one at the hall.

I already told you about it. But Ladik hasn't heard it yet.

We played "My Country" in New York.

By Dvorak. By Smetana.

Carnegie Hall was packed.

We didn't get much of a welcome.

We were tired after our trip, but we got a second wind.

Which races were there?

Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans...

I wondered what this one big black fellow could get out of songs about places he didn't know.

Now listen.

When we finished playing you could hear a pin drop.

Then all hell broke loose. Applause.

We were in shock. It was like an avalanche.

While we were bowing I could see the black man clapping.

Tears were streaming down his face.

Music exceeds race and nationality.

I was beside myself.

And I'm finished.

Don't touch it!

You only owe me 37,600 now.

I'm doing my best but I really need a car.

We could sort out the car problem.

Yes, but how would I pay?

Exactly my point. I've a wonderful job for you.

30,000 for a day's work Straight into your pocket.

Daddy, Andy has a tick.

Do you have a pet at home?

No, no pets.

Do you have a baby?

Nor a baby.

What do you have?

Go out and play I'll deal with the tick.

I won't beat about the bush. It's a question of marriage.

I have this old 'aunt'.

I'm not marrying Least of all an old aunt.

She's Russian Worse still.

It's not the aunt, it's her niece.

Not even a niece.

Just a fake marriage.

No, I'm against marriage in any shape or form.

Cheers, cheers!

She's visiting her aunt...

...and needs our papers to avoid being sent back.

Sounds fishy. It's not for me.

In six months you get a divorce.

Is Andy here? He has a tick.

I thought I'd lost you.

We're talking business.

You know what I think Leave us alone.

A fake wedding, Mr Louka. Just pretending! For 40 grand.

It was 30 before.

She'd willingly pay you 40.

You could buy a car and still repay me 20,000.

It's better than renovating headstones.

Graves, graves.

A heck of a job.

You've lots of pets.

A grave-digger has to have living things around him.

Her name is Nadezda. It's just a business deal.

I can't, Mr Broz. It's not for me.

Franta, stop that.

Come to see your mother, have you?

Yes, how are you?

Hi Fanda! Hi! - Surprised?

They're finished already.

Know the name of this building? Nope.

Coconut. Coconut?

Meaning "Communist church".

Hi. - Hi. Geeze...


Go home and practise. Today was too awful!

I thought you might come. Guess what I've made for lunch.

Potato dumplings.

I was in the chemist's. I said "I'll make him dumplings".

That's great.

Vic has written. Look in the cupboard.

It arrived yesterday. He sent beautiful photographs.

Yet you didn't even send a postcard.

The Philharmonic was in Belgium. Were you there?

I heard about it on the radio. You can't even drop your mom a line.

There wasn't enough time.

The Belgians dragged us around from pillar to post.

Read it aloud.

Maybe later.

Sometimes I think you don't like your brother. What did he do to you?

What he did was leave.

And you hold that against him? He went with nothing...

...and now he has a good business.

And I have bugger all.

You're a virtuoso player, you'll have money again one day.

Here you are. There's lots more.

Mr Holecek says we need new guttering.

New guttering? Yes.

The gutters have rusted through.

He said 2,000 would cover it Materials and labour.

I can't afford it. This house has cleaned me out.

I've had to sell my car. I'm in debt.

Where am I to find the money?

Don't talk like that.

Frankie, the house is yours now you've bought Vic out.

But for that, we'd have lost it to the state, when Vic emigrated.

Would you want me to live with strangers?

We'll finish our coffee, then we'll play. Okay?

We haven't played together in ages.

See you tonight!

Just don't fall!

Still playing for corpses, Franta?

What about you? Still playing for gall-bladder patients?

Yes. Come see us. The music at the spa is more cheerful.

Bye! I'm hurrying to catch the bus. Goodbye, Mrs Loukova.

You, maestro, are going to play at the colonade.

What's this about corpses?

That's what we call a concert audience...

...when it's dead and doesn't respond.

It was blocked here. Otherwise the gutters are in fairly good shape.

Except for the odd spot.

Well, I'll be blowed!

How did this get here?

It's not very valuable, Frankie.

Just a piece of costume jewelry.

That's not entirely certain. How did it get there?

Where did you get it?

I found it.

And what do you think it's worth?

You tell me.

I could give you five or maybe ten crowns for it.

A couple are walking along your street.

She says "You and this trinket can both go to hell!".

And she tosses it into the air. That's how I see it.

Mr Broz, I think I agree.

Of course. There's no other explanation.

I mean this bogus marriage. I might agree to it.

You can talk to Nadezda in German.

She translates from Russian into German.

I'm afraid I speak neither.

Oh, you Czechs, the story of your life!

First you're allergic to Germans and then it's Russians.

It's not that. I've no head for languages.

Anyway, who cares how they talk together?

Every Czech knows some Russian.

Every Czech speak a bit Russian.

Except me.

Except him?

They won't suspect. What's important...

...is for Maestro Louka to know there are no tricks. Divorce in six months.

A fake wedding, that's all. No hidden agenda.

Nadezda has a little boy. And she's very young.

You could be her father. What would she do with you?

Tamara, tell him it has to be a real wedding.

We want a real wedding.

There must be a reception...

...and a wedding night. Everything like a normal wedding.

A wedding night?

The first night you'll sleep together. But in different rooms.

To avoid suspicion - in case you're followed.

A deposit.

Have you any idea how much it costs to fix Russian officials?

You don't want to know.

Franta, I'm amazed.

Good luck.

She's a beauty, a real beauty!

Must you be everywhere?

Hi, Eman. Louka here. They're blowing their horns...

Keep this to yourself. Huh? This is a fun place.

There was a girl who loved him... Please be quiet.

Don't tell anyone what you saw at Vysehrad, Eman.

I don't want anyone to know about the wedding.

Don't sing so loud. It's either all or nothing.

Keep it under wraps.

Who'd you tell?

You're an idiot, Eman.

And with his finger on the trigger he looks into the bushes...



I like my wife, Nadezda, very much.

I like my wife very much.

I've decided...

...that Nadezda my wife and I...

...shall enjoy a truly beautiful...

...real wedding night.

What did he say? A joke.

It would be a great pity if a Czech man denied...

...his Russian wife her unde... undeni...

...undeniable right.

Wait, where are you going? Frantisek, you drink a lot.

Yes, we drank a lot...

Fabulous, Mr Louka, but have a seat.

Because we drank so much, I now ask that the guests such as Broz, return to their own homes and leave the couple alone.

Come, Nadyezda.

We should all keep in mind that a wedding night...

You only get one wedding night.

I'd like Nadyezda Ivanovna to remember Prague for a long time.

And I promise tonight I'll be as hot- blooded as any Russian Don Juan.


I'll be...

...a real Cassanova!

Mr Louka, they don't understand your jokes. They're terrified.

Very proper.

Every bride should be terrified on her wedding night.

The baby's coming. The contractions have started.

Go home. Look after the children.

I have to go.



New, isn't it?

Not quite.

No? It looks pretty new to me.

No rust anywhere.

These cars never rust.

Then it was a good buy.

Look at all those Russians! They're like locusts.

Would you believe it? Lots of Czechs do business with them.

It's certainly cheaper - diesel, petrol, coal.

But collaborating like that! Fine patriots, they are.

When the Russians invaded...

...people said they wouldn't even give them stale bread or water.

And look at them now.

Just as well you didn't live to see it.

I've brought you coffee and chocolate.

Did you give a concert abroad? Where? I missed that.

In... In Switzerland.

The Swiss have always had the best chocolate.

Like a lift?

Is this your dowry?

I see people can't keep their mouths shut.

It's a nice car.

You're better off in more ways than one.

Look, this marriage... I'm not interested.

I live alone Nothing has changed.

I'm such an idiot, I nearly divorced because of you.

Klara, let's go to my place.

Stop, I'd like to get out.

I want to get out.

I've done all your washing and ironing.


We're supposed to decorate the windows.

Another anniversary? I can't keep up with them.

They're judging again for the best-decorated building.

My windows are too high for them to see.

Don't you believe it. They watch us like hawks.

I darned two pairs of socks for you. Should've seen the holes.

Put up one Russian flag and one of ours...

...so they leave me in peace.

That's 70 crowns. I'll add it to the 200 you already owe me.

You can have it right now.

Right now?

I've no change.

Keep it.

How do you do?

Mr Stocklasa sent me.

He did, did he? Hold this.

And what was Mr Stoklasa's message?

He wanted you to look me over.

That is, he wanted you to hear me play.

You're putting flags up? No way. I'm too old for all that.

Like a drink?

Yes, please.

I play the viola but I want to play the cello.

Why... Do that?

I like the size.

You prefer big instruments, do you?

Play something, then.

You've long fingers. That's good.

I feel nervous with you there.

Squeeze more with your knees.

Shall I play?

Like that?


Which friend?

This minute?

Who are you?


We must make it some other time.

That's a pity.

I know.

Come to the Green Tree.

Come to the Green Tree!

Can I sit or do we move again?

It's all right here.

Are you a spy? Is grave-digging a hobby?

Mr Louka, we're in deep shit.

Nadezda has emigrated.

Where to?


West Germany?

She went as an interpreter and stayed on.

She's got a bloke. A married businessman.

She's nuts about him. But I thought she'd have him visit her here.

Why not go straight there? From Russia to West Germany?

They're not allowed. Russians can come here but can't go there.

So how come she got there?

Because she has Czech papers, thanks to you.

She left her son here, so she was allowed to go.

Why did she go, if he's married?

That's her problem, Mr Louka.

But the cops are bound to get curious about you.

I knew it was idiotic. I felt it in my bones.

I'm sorry. But you'll be all right, you'll see.

The boy will stay with the aunt.

When should I expect them?

Who? The cops.

I'd say soon.

Frantisek Louka?


You're this lad's father?

We've the old lady he was staying with, in our ambulance.

She's had a stroke. She says you'll take over.

But I'm nobody. I'm only his stepfather.

That's your problem. Sort it out among yourselves.

She says he's to stay with you.

Come on then.

Don't just stand there. Come on in.

Mr Broz, do you know what's happened?

You knew? Then come and fetch him at once.

This wasn't in the deal.

We can't solve this on the telephone.

Pop by tomorrow.

I can't hear you.

One night won't kill you. Give him a bath and put him to bed.

You have some slippers?

Something to wear indoors.

A fine conversation this is going to be!

This is all I needed.

Here they are.

Slippers. Yours.

Take your shoes off and put your slippers on.

Look, stop snivelling. I'm not over the moon about this myself.

Stick it out for one night here and then it's off to the grave-digger's.

He got us into this mess. It's up to him to get us out.

Look what's here.

Some crayons and paper. You can draw.

Why don't you sit down and draw something?

Scribble, scribble!

Stare out of the window. What do I care?

As you're so pig-headed, take a good look.


At least drink your tea.


Russian tea, what you lot drink non-stop.

I've put sugar in it.

Don't pretend you don't understand.

You must understand something.

We're both of us Slavs.

I don't speak Russian, you don't speak Czech...

...but you must understand the word 'tea'. We have it, you have it.

We use the same word.

There you are.

That's it.

Today there are 115,000 heavily-armed Soviet soldiers...

...in our country.

Stop snivelling and sleep. One night won't kill you.

Be like that then.

She was against the wedding.

Who was?

Marush, my wife.

She kept saying "You'll get him into trouble".

She was right there.

I know. So I can't ask her to take in a fifth child.

Mr Louka, our place is a madhouse these days.

Try to put up with him.

I'll let you off 2,000.

Three, 4,000.

Put yourself in my shoes. What am I to do with him?

Can't that woman with gold teeth take him in?

Pasha? She's in Leningrad.

Look, his aunt will be out of hospital in a fortnight.

Keep the boy. It's in your interest.

That's why the aunt left him with you - for your own sake.

Looking after your wife's child makes your marriage look genuine.

In whose eyes?

The authorities', when they come to interrogate you.

You've been questioned before?

I was. Once.

The first cop was a softie. The second was called Novotny.

He was sharp as a razor.

Mark my words, they'll pounce.

And they'll grind you down, Mr Louka.

When my old mother rocked my cradle...

...she taught me to sing...

Mr Louka, you didn't put up the flags.

You said you'd do it.

I've been too busy. I'm doing concerts every day for the workers.

You're the only one who didn't do it. All the others did.

What a nice little boy. Who are you?

He's my nephew.

What's your name?

He won't talk, he's terribly shy.

I don't care about the flags but you're drawing attention to yourself.

I'm a coward.

Last year...

...I didn't give a damn and it was okay.

But we mustn't upset them now we're in the shit.

Ours - yours.

What was that?



So you can understand when you want to.

The thing is, we put up your flag because we have to.

Once we put it up in gratitude.

But that was before we realised that you Russians are scoundrels.

You understand? No, you don't. You lot take up too much room.

Wherever you march, you stay.

But not you, you'll go back to your aunt.

The moment she's better, I'll pack Your chemodan and you'll be off.


That's all the Russian I know because they stole mine in Moscow.

You steal suitcases and territory.

Ours is beautiful.

What's beautiful about it? It's just red like your underpants.

Ours is beautiful No, ours is.

Oh, you don't know anything.

Look what I bought you.

A Russian egg.

Some Czech hens...

...lay Russian eggs without knowing it.


Hello. I've come for my lesson.

It's a bad day? Not at all.

It's just that I've a 'visitor'.

He's your little boy?

A grandson? Of course not.

I'm babysitting for a colleague. The boy is Russian.


What's your name? Kolya.

Shall I begin?

We'll put the light on so you're not scared.

And here's a steamboat.

Ours is beautiful.

So you did put the flags up after all!

Nurse, take the child out.

Am I going to see Grandma?

She died yesterday. At seven a.m.

You're her... what?

Nothing. Just an acquaintance.

There was nobody to take her things.

Dressing gown, teeth, spectacles, watch...

Where's Grandma?

Grandma is asleep.

We mustn't wake her.

Write to the Welfare Office and have him put into care.

Say you're his stepfather. His mother has left...

...and you can't look after him.

He can't stay here.

Look what he's drawn A coffin, isn't it?

It's not a bad drawing.

Gentlemen, the dead won't wait.

Are you his dad or his grandad?

His grandad.

Fill in these forms and send them to Comrade Zubata.

And when do you think...? I can't say.

I don't understand. You say the boy is from Yugoslavia.

His parents let him come to you just like that?

So he'd see the Czech countryside.

And why is he called Kolya? Isn't that a Russian name?

Kolya is the same as Nikolai in Jugoslav.

Couldn't he spend a few days here?


He's pale.

He needs fresh air and he'd be company for you.

What's the world coming to? Parents leaving their kids just anywhere.

People with a career in music shouldn't have children.

Like you. It should be either music or a family.

How long would it be for?

You see them? Always driving...

...back and forth.

Our soldiers.

No, not yours. They're Russian.

Look, the king.

Russians. Russian soldiers.

What's he saying?

I don't know. Maybe they remind him of Yugoslav soldiers.

Here, Kolya, it's almost ready.

You lied to me. He's Russian.

Yes, I lied to you.

How could you do it?

Mother, not all Russians are alike.

We're not at home.

But he saw me come in.

May we wash our hands?

You want to wash your hands? The water's off.

Water cut off.

Water off?

Burst pipe somewhere.

Never mind. Goodbye.

It's running.

The water's not off.

I'm not having a Russian child here.

Come along, we'll go and see uncle Ruzicka. You'll like it there.

Fancy lying to your own mother. Vic would never do that.

First you show no interest in children and then it's a Russian!

Come and look.

What's happening in Prague? Same as here.

There's this soothsayer who predicts it will all collapse this year.

They've said that for 40 years.

He's had this vision. There were Communists buying...

...rods of gold.

They were rushing off in great hordes to Russia.

But Gorbachev took their rods...

...and used them to flog their backsides.

He said "Leave the gold here and go back home".

But nobody wanted them any more.

The young people and nurses rebelled against them.

So they chased them out...

...and set up colonies for them in Albania...

...like Red Indian reservations.

What a vision!

Why did the nurses rebel?

I've no idea.

Our people?

Yes, yours.

Going to Moscow?

No, they're here to stay.

They just go back and forth.

Do they live here?

Unfortunately, they do.

Just like me.

The shows's off. We had the Russian kids yesterday...

...but today there's nobody.

The show's off. Come along.

How big an audience do you need?

At least five. But this is a Russian film.

'Angelika' is on tomorrow.

Give me five tickets.

Mr Lansky, don't go. We're doing a performance.

Hi, Franta.

Where's my grandma?

She's asleep.

Mr Louka, registered letter for you.

I signed so you wouldn't have to go to the post office.

Just fancy!

Our building came second in the decorationg competition.

But for that stupid fellow Pech, we'd have been first.

It's from the police. Probably a parking ticket.

Now you'll have to go and see them, I suppose.

I'm Pokorny. You'll be Mr Louka.

How come...? I couldn't leave him.

But during the interrogation... Comrade, take care of this child.

He'll bawl his head off.

This is most unusual.

You've no kids? Yes, but I don't take them to work.

Maybe I could ask Jitka...

Jitka, look after this boy. Use Kopecky's office.

Go and play with auntie.

He won't go with strangers.

How old is he? Five.

He only speaks Russian. Can't he stay?

If you've some paper and a pencil, he'll draw.

Sit down, Mr Louka.

You wouldn't have any crayons? He prefers colours.

So you decided to marry, Mr Louka?

Well, well, how surprising. A confirmed bachelor like you...

...suddenly, at fifty-five!

Yes, a man can go off the rails even at my age.

Well, she's very young and pretty.

Love works in strange ways. You know how it is.

Where did you meet?

In a restaurant Which one?

It was the Malostranska café.

She was sitting alone and there was no other table free.

We got talking You speak Russian?

Only a few words. From school.

Your cigarette... Want one?

No. It fell out That's always happening.

Very nice.

He draws well. That violin...

Cello. It has a spike.

You're right. A violinist might stab himself.

My kid doesn't draw as well.

What's his name? Radek, after my wife.

She has a man's name? No, it's Radka really.

How's it going?

Captain Novotny, Mr Louka.

My dear man, you seem to have a bad influence on your family.

Your brother emigrates, your wife emigrates...

You didn't live together very long, did you?

Nobody saw her at your place.

We lived together for a few days...

...but she only spoke Russian and me Czech.

Surely you were aware of that before the wedding?

Of course. But there were other problems as well.

She kept opening the windows. She was so used to Siberian winters.

So we decided we'd live apart.

Okay, you've had your fun.

Now spit it out. How much were you paid, you jerk?

Isn't that a bit familiar?

I'll be as familiar as I like.

I call a jailbird anything I choose And that's what you'll be.

I asked you a question.

Comrade, take this child We tried.

How did you buy a car?

I saved up and borrowed the rest.

From whom?

My colleague Parizek and Mr Broz.

Did Nadezda Bilyukovova tell you she planned to emigrate?

That caught me out.

And her son, that caught you out too?


What will you do with him?

I don't know. Maybe I'll keep him now he's mine in law.

Look here, my dear man.

This marriage was a put-up job.

Tell your fairy tale about falling in love to someone else.

And don't think you'll be playing with the Philharmonic much longer.

You'll be lucky to fiddle at funerals. We'll make sure of that.


Why not try to save your skin?

Tell us who arranged the wedding and how much you've got for it.

This won't be the last time we meet.

Go back home, and have a good think.

Then maybe you'll come back and see us before we send for you.

Well, that's it.

That's it...

...my dear man.

Two or three more interrogations and you'll be speaking Czech.

If it isn't Marketa! Mischa.

Of course.

And what are you doing? I play in a sort of ensemble.

Jesus, the boy!

Excuse me.

A small boy is lost on Line B. His name is...

Kolya. He should be taken to the guard at any station.

Kolya, don't worry and don't run off.

Stay in the metro and we'll find you.

End of message.


What a fright you gave me.

She was wailing down the telephone.

What she said? "Kolya, my darling baby".

When I said her aunt was dead, she wanted to get on a train right away.

But I talked the idiot out of it.

I told her they'd send her straight to Siberia.

And the Red Cross? She's applied for the boy.

And there are international agreements on mothers and kids.

She sends you her greetings.

Charming of her.

Hello, Grandma.

It's me, Kolya.

We went to see you but you were asleep.

Please come back, Grandma.

Come on out.

Come along.

Zuzi? It's Louka.

I suddenly felt so lonely and guess who I...?

Can you speak? He's in the country?

Lucky you.

Oh, in the lavatory! He takes his time, doesn't he?

Listen, I'm looking after a Russian kid.

Russian. Belongs to a violinist from Leningrad. He can't get to sleep.

You teach Russian. Could you read him a story?

Anything. He's five.

Go and find something. I'll wait.

She's a teacher.

A fairy tale.

'The Eagle and the Lamb'. Fantastic! I'll pass you over.

Yes, Kolya Bilyukov.

No, I'm not scared of eagles.

High on a Caucasian mountain peak lived an eagle.

One day he flew so high he reached a star.

On that star, there was a little house.

In the house, lived an old sheep and her lamb.

"I've come to visit you" said the eagle.

"I've come to see how you live".


Thanks, Zuzi.

You left them here?

Black lace ones?

And you went home without them!

No, I'd have found them.

I'd like to see you too, Zuzi, but I can't right now. I'll call you.



What's your name?

My name's Kolya.

Do you want some bread?

Go away.

Stop feeding the pigeons.

And shut the window.

Through pastures green...

...He leadeth me...

...the quiet waters by.

What are you playing?

I'm doing your job.

That's enough.

We're up as high as the birds.

As high as the birds.

His mummy isn't at home?

She's abroad at the moment.

He must have antibiotics.

Every four hours. Set your alarm clock.

With a quarter aspirin. You have some?


There's a danger of meningitis.

If the fever continues, apply cold compresses. You can do that?

Yes, of course.

Will your wife be away long? Possibly.

You'll need a note for your employer.

I guess.

It will feel a bit cold.

Hold on, it's going to be all right.

You'll be all right now.

Klara, I'm sorry about calling you out so late.

That's okay.

No, really, I mean it. Good night now.

No need to say good night. I'm staying till the morning.

And what will you say at home?

That an old flame of mine had a child.

And he couldn't cope.

A magpie or a jay. They steal shiny things.

You're right. Nobody thought of that.

It's still beautiful, even if it has no value.

When I said we couldn't have children...

...I didn't mean that I can't. You must have misunderstood.

When is he supposed to take his next pill?

At five. I set the alarm.

You're less selfish than I thought.

I never imagined you'd worry like this about someone else's child.

Neither did I.

Weren't you afraid to make that fake marriage?

You a dissident, of all people.

I am not a dissident.

I've just been punished for my own stupidity.

They used to let me go to the West.

One time, the Party officer said...

"Your brother has emigrated but we trust you".

When I returned, I had to fill in the usual forms.

One of the questions was "Did you meet an emigré?" I wrote yes.

Then it said "State in detail what you discussed".

I wrote "The usual shit, Comrade Blaha".

Is that all?

I guess he felt hurt.

And I thought you'd done something heroic!

Bit of a let-down, isn't it?

But you did it so nicely.

I want you to have this.

Lovely. And you've stopped drawing coffins.

Story by telephone.

You'd like a story?

Good. Let's call the teacher auntie.

Could I have the one about the eagle? I liked that one.

It was the uncle. He's no good at stories.

We'll have to manage alone.

Once upon a time, there was a grandpa and a grandma.

A grandpa and a grandma.

They had a grandson who was called Budulinek.

One day Grandma said "Budulinek, my dear.

"We're going to the woods. You will be here on your own.

"Don't open the door to anyone at all".

Don't open the door.

That's it. And so they left.

We had otters once.

What's otters?

You keep asking "What's that?".

It's an animal about this big with whiskers like me.

It eats trout.

What's trout?

A fish.


But because the water is poisoned now by acid rain... you won't understand and nor do I...

...the fish died.

Fish kaput?

So the otters died too.

The otters are kaput too?

So now you have a River Otter...

...with no otters in it.

Oh, my God!

Some East German bloke is celebrating his birthday.

What's a birthday?

That's the day he was born.

And when am I going to have a birthday?

When were you born?

You're five but when were you born?

I don't know.

Then it's a bit difficult, isn't it?

'Night, Dad.


Happy birthday...

The main thing is you're healthy and happy.

What's in it?


Why must you live at the top?

I'm from the Department of Social Security.

You sent us an application regarding this boy some time back.

We've only just got round to it.

In the meantime, we've sorted things out.

You play at night, don't you?

No, only during the day now.

Where does the boy sleep? Over there.

He doesn't have his own bed?

No, but there's enough room...

So it's the boy's birthday?

Not really. But I don't have his papers.

I wrote that application when I wasn't coping very well.

The boy is Russian?

Not now, my dear.

He understands Czech now.

His mother went to the West and shows no interest in the boy.

That's untrue. She applied to the Red Cross.

Look, Mr Mouka Louka.

Czech nationality by marriage...

...she is still a Russian.

So the Russian authorities still have an interest in this child.

The matter may well be taken out of our hands.

They'll probably put him in a home.

That's my opinion.

Miss Zubata, that letter of mine... couldn't it be declared void?

Why? They'll take care of the boy.

I'll be back, Mr Mouka.

Next time, I'll bring someone from the Russian embassy...

...and they can take over.

A nice little boy.

Goodbye for now.


Yes, before Miss Zubata comes to get us.

Franta! What'up?

Can you put us up?

But of course.

These springs are a bit ropey...

...but, held down by this blanket, they should be all right.

This is Uncle Houdek but you'll say Goudek, I suppose.

A great power, yet they can't say the letter H!

I'll enjoy hiding you. It'll be my way of joining the resistance.

Will your conductor take me on? Definitely.

Though he'll wonder why you want to play on a bandstand.

We'll tell him... I know, I've a great idea.

You're convalescing after a gall-bladder operation.

We'll have you drinking the waters.

Illegal activity. Great!

The police blocked the central streets...

...so there was no escape.

Students, when faced with the riot police...

...sang the national anthemn. They were savagely attacked...

Franta, I think the whole thing has collapsed.

Just because...

Shut up!

Prague's university students call on everyone to demonstrate.

It's a pity we joined the resistance so late. It's boiled over!

We should be there, Franta. It's come at last.

At last. At last!

Nobody wanted them any more.

The young people and the nurses rebelled.

They chased them out...

...and set up a reservation for them in Albania.

What a vision!

There's your mummy.

Come along.

I can't thank you enough.

Goodbye, Dad.


When will you come and see us?