Ah, youth… The time when everything is possible and everything ought to be tried, at least once. When the stars are perfectly aligned, sometimes those trials may also turn to shit, so to speak.

Things turned to shit for René Plasil at military school where petty thieving earned the teen boy a lengthy prison sentence. His career progresses from first being a warning example and then a professional convict through Czechoslovakia’s turbulent years, apart from a few stints spent in freedom. When René is out, he falls in love, procreates and commits small crimes; when he is behind bars, he writes.

Helena Třeštíková follows René for more than twenty years. This long a period spent with one person almost qualifies as marriage. Besides creating the substance for a film, the relationship develops into a symbiosis between the subject and the cinematographer.

Because of the involvement, it may be difficult to imagine René without Helena without resorting to categories: outcast, burden, loser, parasite. There are plenty to choose from. In view of the society and many of his close ones, René is nothing but a burden because he spurns the model of a productive individual openly, without shame. But when the society makes every effort to trample on a person’s self-esteem, how long can one resist it?

Minna Saarinen (Translation: Marko Pyhähuhta)

Language: Czech
Subtitles: English

Q&A with Helena Třeštíková (director) on Thursday 31.01. at 13:00 at Kino Regina

  • Director: Helena Třeštíková
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Year: 2008
  • Length: 83 min
  • Age limit: K16
  • Format: 35 mm
  • Cinematography: Martin Kubala, Petr Pešek, Stano Slušný, Václav Smolík, Marek Dvořák , Ondřej Belica, Miroslav Souček, Vlastimil Hamerník
  • Editing: Jakub Hejna
  • Music: Tadeáš Věrčák
  • Production: Kateřina Černá, Pavel Strnad / Negativ Film Productions


  • Kino Regina: Thu 31.1. at 13.00