This simple tale provides an open look at questions of everyday intolerance, love, and family. Marek and Monika Sír (Ivan Trojan and Petra Spalková) leave Prague for the country. Their goal... See full summary »
After moving to the countryside to help with their youngest son's asthma, a young Czech family finds that the two older boys, adopted Romanys, suffer some racial prejudice in their new village. This stress puts pressure on the parents as well, and the whole family comes under the strain. This is possibly the best -- or rather, most realistic -- film I've ever seen concerning a household of three or more preteen youngsters. As the director has a few adopted Romany children of her own, it is clear that this is a true work from the heart.
The kids are not angels, as their mother quite rightly points out, nor is there any reason why they should be... but they are clearly beginning to thrive in their adopted family as they come to terms with what effects adoption -- and race -- can have on their family.
In addition to the plot and the downright brilliant characterizations by the older boys, the camera work and scenery is exceptional as well. A very early scene shows clearly what is going on here: we see a church steeple with clocks mounted on different sides of the steeple---showing very different times. Thus, we realize that the film shows both the effects (and remnants) of the past and glimpses of the future both of the family and of the modern Czech Republic.