- Director: Ivan Ostrochovský
- Writer: Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Marek Lescák, Ivan Ostrochovský
- Producer: Mike Downey, Oana Giurgiu, Tudor Giurgiu, Albert Malinovsky, Ivan Ostrochovský, Petr Oukropec, Pavel Strnad, Sam Taylor, Katarina Tomkova
Needless to say...when it come to the church - especially the catholic church...secrets, lies and corruption reign supreme. But...when the [communist] State wields its control over this institution...its true colours are revealed and, here, they are...in their full glory...in this monochromatic world.
The subtext is rife and even more understated than subtext ought to be...with both church and state oppressing and suppressing...secrets and desires are buried deeper...but, one look can betray and with one slip the Secret Police will pounce.
For these young seminarians there is no joy...fear thy God, fear thy teachers...fear the State. Rather than being in the business of saving souls...under these opposing regimes...teachers and students are saving their own skins. Some will survive, the most cunning. Some will fall, the most devout.
As a statement on the relationship between the moral compass and the governing hand...well, there is no relationship, nor should there be...but, that doesn't stop either from playing their sly games of Chess. Governments come and go where the church stands firm...even communism failed to loosen their almighty grip.
Recruitment is vital for the church to maintain its grip. Two young men, perhaps more than just friends, wrestle with their responsibilities, consciences, desires against their religious faith and loyalty to their country. So much, too much for young minds!
This is a stark film in a stark time with two brutal regimes exploiting two young men. So much is left unsaid...but, what is left unsaid...screams.
The is Arthouse at its very best...a masterclass in composition. Filmmakers: Watch, absorb, learn and do!
The year is 1980. Michal and Juraj are students at a theological seminary in totalitarian Czechoslovakia. Fearing the dissolution of their school, the tutors are moulding the seminarians into a shape satisfactory to the ruling Communist Party. Each of the young students must decide if he will give into the temptation and choose the easier way of collaborating with the regime, or if he will subject himself to draconian surveillance by the secret police.