City Of The Sun, The

City of the Sun is a film about being Czech, or Slovak or both at once. The action is set in Ostrava, an industrial town on the Czech-Slovakian border where the sun rarely shines. Added to that, the painful transition to a capitalist system is producing large-scale redundancies. Four friends decide to go into business for themselves when they are laid off. They pool resources to buy a truck, convinced that it will make them money. But every job they turn their hand to ends in grief, and one disaster seems to follow another. Worse still, the problems they have at work are mirrored in their personal lives. Karel has to look after his daughters while his wife recovers from a car accident. Milan is divorced and trying to make a man of his adolescent son, an alcoholic like his ex-wife. Tomas spurns his brother-in-law’s attempts to get his job back since it would mean betraying his friends, and he fights constantly with his wife as a result. Meanwhile, Vinco is looking for a girl to fall in love with and marry. At the same time, the quartet is caught up in a maelstrom of shifting social values. On the one hand, they typify the eastern mindset: conservative and idealist by instinct. On the other, they are lured by the liberal mindedness of the west. And the clash of the two challenges them regularly with the questions of integrity and betrayal. While City of the Sun makes some sort of social comment on unemployment, a theme that is ever-present in the background, its real focus is on cultural problems. By showing the central characters reckoning not only with their families and each other, but also with themselves, the film crystallises the conflict of opposing cultural values whether Czech and Slovak, Catholic and Orthodox or eastern and western. Combined with a tone that seems to parody Bicycle Thieves, this gives the film an ironic humour all of its own.
Çek Cumhuriyeti Slovak Cumhuriyeti

Martin Sulik

Marek Lescák
Martin Sulik

Martin Strba

Jiri Brozek

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Igor Bares
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