My Sweet Little Village

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My Sweet Little Village / Vesničko má středisková
Original film poster (left: János Bán, Marián Labuda)
Directed by Jiří Menzel
Produced by Zbyněk Hloch
Written by Zdeněk Svěrák
Starring János Bán
Marián Labuda
Rudolf Hrušínský
Petr Čepek
Libuše Šafránková
Jan Hartl
Rudolf Hrušínský jr.
Music by Jiří Šust
Cinematography Jaromír Šofr
Edited by Jiří Brožek
Distributed by Ústřední půjčovna filmů
Release date
  • 1985 (1985)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Czechoslovakia
Language Czech

My Sweet Little Village (Czech: Vesničko má středisková) is a 1985 Czechoslovak film directed by Jiří Menzel. In 1987 it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[1] At the 1986 Montreal World Film Festival, it won the Special Jury Award and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. At the Paris Film Festival in 1987 Hungarian actor János Bán received the best actor award. In a public survey conducted in January 2007 by the online news server this movie was chosen by 22,4% of voters (approximately 66,000 people) as the most popular Czech comedy in history.[2]


The film's main storyline follows the life of Otík, a mentally retarded young man, in a tight-knit village community. The sweet-tempered Otík works as an assistant truck driver with Mr. Pávek, his older colleague and practical-minded neighbor. Pávek's family takes care of Otík, whose parents are dead. However, the two coworkers become at odds over Otík's inability to perform even the simplest tasks. Pávek demands that Otík be transferred to assist another driver, who happens to be a choleric and suspicious man named Turek (Turk in Czech). Rather than work with Turek, Otík decides to accept an offer of employment in Prague, but finds he does not fit into the city life. After discovering that the transfer of Otík to Prague was a trick by a crooked politician to get a deal on Otík's large inherited house, Pávek agrees to give Otík a second chance and retrieves him from the city to resume their work together.

The film also follows several subplots, such as, the secret romance of Turek's wife with a young vet, the tribulations of an accident-prone but respected doctor who has almost as much trouble with his pessimistic patients as he does with his car, and the desperate deeds of Pávek's teenage son, who has ardent feelings for an attractive local teacher.



In the Czech Republic and Slovakia the movie retains a cult following. The movie gained favorable reviews from movie critics, with Roger Ebert awarding the movie 3 and a half stars out of 4. "In My Sweet Little Village, (Menzel) discovers some of the same gentle, ironic humor that Forman found in The Fireman's Ball. He uses everyday life as an instrument for a subtle attack on bureaucracy and a cheerful assertion of human nature. This movie is joyful from beginning to end - a small treasure, but a real one."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The 59th Academy Awards (1987) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Dvořák, Stanislav. "Čtenáři: Nejlepší česká komedie je Vesničko má, středisková" [Readers: The best Czech comedy is My Sweet Little Village] (in Czech). Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  3. ^ "My Sweet Little Village by Roger Ebert, 9 January 9, 1987". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 

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