Marian

Ten years ago I was introduced to the world of correctional institutions, seething with frustration, cruelty and ugliness. The majority of the children were gypsies, who as adults live in the Czech Republic on the margins of so-called "normal" society and were treated as second class citizens. That's where I met the real Marian on whom this story is based. He was considered dangerous because he had seriously wounded a counselor with a knife. He struck me as a being both noble and terrible, an unhappy child transformed into a "criminal". Much later during a trip to western Canada, I learned about the fate of those magnificent native American tribes whose language and ancestral values have been desecrated by Western education and I suddenly thought of Marian. When I got back to Prague, I learned that he had committed suicide not long after escaping from prison. That's when I decided to try and tell his story: the story of a boy who was born to injustice and tragedy, growing up without knowing and affection, wild and unable to escape his own destiny. Though not setting out to shock I did want to make people stop and think. In casting the film, I chose to use actual young gypsies, who have themselves been abandoned or placed in reformatories. They "play" themselves. Based on reality, the film contains aspects of documentary, but at the same time it is intended to go beyond straightforward and obvious realism, "beyond the real".
Czech Republic
'
1996

Director
Petr Václav

Script
Jan Sikl
Petr Václav

Cinematography
Stepán Kucera

Editing
Alois Fisárek

Production
Tosara Film

Cast
Eva Hradilová
Jaroslava Vyslouzilová
Ludmila Kroková
Milan Cifra
Radek Holub
Stefan Ferko
Tereza Zajicová

Music
Jiri Václav

Awards
"Cartes Jeune" Award
Angers 1997
FIPRESCI Award
Locarno; "New Horizons" section best full-length feature
Silver Leopard
Thessaloniki; PROCIREP Award

Festivals
3rd Festival on Wheels
EUROPE EUROPE