A Feast of Snowdrops

Czechoslovakia 1983 / 88 min. / DCP & Blu-ray / english subtitles

Director → Jiří Menzel / Screenplay → Bohumil Hrabal, Jiří Menzel / Director of Photography → Jiří Macák / Editing → Jiří Brožek / Music → Jiří Šust / Production Design → Zbyněk Hloch / Cast → Rudolf Hrušínský, Jaromír Hanzlík, Josef Somr, Petr Čepek, Miloslav Štibich, Petr Brukner, Rudolf Hrušínský ml.

Jiří Menzel directed six films based on literary works by Bohumil Hrabal. The penultimate of these was the 1983 film A Feast of Snowdrops. Hrabal’s eponymous book, which is a colorful collage of portraits of the inhabitants of a cottage settlement in the Central Bohemian village of Kersko, was first published in 1978, but then still in censored form. Jiří Menzel wanted to rehabilitate the long-censored author for film, so he prepared a film script based on his book. However, the film was only allowed to be made by the state cinema management after the audience success of Cutting in Short, another adaptation of Hrabal’s work. The film is set in the local restaurant, where seasonal holidaymakers and old-timers from Kersko gather day after day. The peaceful life of the village is disrupted by a grotesque boar hunt and the ensuing dispute between two groups of gamekeepers over who should get the trophy. The tragicomedy, which accentuates the bucolic rather than the existential level of the subject, was filmed in the real cottage village of Kersko.