Winter 2005 Edge series
Sunday, February 6, 2005 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 6, 2005 at 7:00pm
Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS
Rated 14A ·
Czech, Russian, and German
It is the 1940s and the Czech lands have been occupied by the Nazis. Eliska is a young woman who was unable to complete medical school because the Germans closed the universities and now works as a nurse in a city hospital. She is also involved in the resistance movement along with her lover, the surgeon Richard, and their friend Dr. Chldek.
One night, a man from a rural mountain area is brought to the hospital with serious injuries and desperately needs a transfusion. Eliska is the only one with the same blood type. Her blood saves his life and a connection is formed between the two that in the course of the story becomes an extraordinarily strong relationship between the modern, cosmopolitan, and educated Eliska and the barbaric, salt of the earth man with the soul of a child, Joza.
The resistance group that the doctors are involved in is discovered and hunted by the Gestapo and suddenly their lives are threatened. While Eliska’s lover, Richard, flees the country overnight, the group quickly has to find a different safe haven for her. They ask Joza, the patient whose life she saved with her blood, to hide her in his remote mountain cabin. Eliska is forced to leave her urban life and all at once become a new woman — Hana, the wife of a mountain man. Her new home is the wild mountain village where time stopped one hundred and fifty years ago called Želary.
Želary tells the story of a clash between two different worlds and two different people. It is the story of an extraordinary relationship, of fear, misgivings, suspicion and especially of the love that forms out of antagonism between Eliska/Hana and Joza; a love born of the common will to survive. Želary is also the story of a beautiful corner of the Earth where everything lives in accordance with nature and her often cruel and timeless laws that humans must adapt to and honor. Eliska, in spite of setbacks, but with great fervor, tries to learn this. Last but not least, Želary is also a dramatic story filled with unexpected twists of fate that takes place in a God-forsaken part of Europe surrounded by the storm of war.