|Directed by||Jan Svěrák|
|Produced by||Eric Abraham
|Written by||Zdeněk Svěrák|
Andrey Khalimon (Andrej Chalimon)
|Music by||Ondřej Soukup
|Edited by||Alois Fišárek|
|Distributed by||Space Films|
|Release date(s)||May 1996 (premiere at Cannes)
15 May 1996 (Czech Republic)
24 January 1997(U.S.)
3 April 1997 (Australia)
9 May 1997 (UK)
|Running time||105 min.|
|Language||Czech, Slovak and Russian|
|Budget||CZK 28 millions
(app. $1 million)
Kolya (originally Kolja) is a 1996 Czech film drama about a man whose life is reshaped in an unexpected way. The film was directed by Jan Svěrák and stars his father Zdeněk Svěrák who also wrote the script from a story by Pavel Taussig.
The film begins in 1988 while the Soviet bloc is beginning to disintegrate. František Louka, a middle-aged Czech man dedicated to bachelorhood and the pursuit of women, is a concert cellist struggling to make out a living by playing funerals at the Prague crematorium. He has lost his previous job at the Czech Philharmonic due to having been half-accidentally blacklisted as "politically unreliable" by the authorities. A friend offers him a chance to earn a great deal of money through a sham marriage to a Russian woman to enable her to stay in Czechoslovakia. The woman then uses her Czechoslovak citizenship to emigrate and join her boyfriend in West Germany.
Due to a concurrence of circumstances, she has to leave behind her Russian-speaking five-year-old son, Kolya, for the disgruntled Czech musician to look after. At first Louka and Kolya have communication difficulties, as they don't speak each other's languages and the many false friend words that exist in Czech and Russian add to the confusion. Gradually, though, a bond forms between Louka and Kolya. The child suffers from suspected meningitis and has to be placed on a course of carefully monitored antibiotics. Louka is threatened with imprisonment for his suspect marriage and the child may be placed in a Russian children's home. The Velvet Revolution intervenes though, and Kolya is reunited with his mother. Louka and Kolya say their goodbyes.
Bachelor Louka ends up fathering a child with his girlfriend - perhaps a replacement for lost Kolya - and regains his position as a virtuoso with the philharmonic orchestra.
|Mr. Brož||Ondřej Vetchý|
|Louka's mother||Stella Zázvorková|
The movie was successful on limited release.
- Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Czech Lion
- Best Film
- Best Director (Jan Svěrák)
- Best Actress (Libuše Šafránková)
- Best Supporting Actor (Andrei Chalimon)
- Best Screenplay (Zdeněk Svěrák)
- Best Editing (Alois Fišárek)
- Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix
- Česká televize: Kolja - Co možná nevíte
- worldwideboxoffice: Kolya
- Thomas, Kevin (1997-01-24). "Father and Son Team Up in 'Kolya'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Maslin, Janet (1997-01-24). "What a Difference a Boy Makes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "Kolya". Chicago Sun Times. 1997-01-27. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Guthmann, Edward (1997-09-12). "FILM REVIEW -- Charming `Kolya' Has Magic Touch". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Thomas, Kevin (1997-01-24). "A Heart-Tugger With a Czech Twist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- King, Susan (1997-01-28). "Jerry Maguire Ahead of Pack--Barely". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.