The film screening took place on 10 February in the Scala Cinema. As in the last semester, the foreign students could choose a Czech film to watch during the Orientation week. Among many successful films they finally chose an Oscar-winning film Kolya, and they sure did not regret their choice. The screening room was still quite empty even a few minutes before the beginning of the film. Then the students finally arrived, curiously waiting for the film to start. After a brief moment, the lights went off and the opening credits appeared on the screen.
The spectators appeared to be fully absorbed by the story from the very beginning. The first funny scenes made the audience laugh, but soon enough many of the spectators found out that the film is not a pure comedy. The little Russian boy’s fate made the audience emotional; especially the moment when Kolya first calls Louka his “daddy”, was very moving. During the more dramatic scenes, for example when Kolya gets lost in the underground, everyone was worried about him and later relieved when he was reunited again with Louka. The film gave the foreign students a possibility to get to know the period before the Velvet Revolution a little better and to familiarize themselves with the problems it caused for Czech people. The atmosphere of the film was intensified by sometimes a very dramatic music, but also by the language. The film was projected in the original version with English subtitles, which enabled the audience to listen to Czech language with a few Russian phrases. The students stayed in their seats in silence for a little while after the ending before they began discussing the film on their way out of the cinema.
The film’s director Jan Svěrák is one of the most successful contemporary Czech film directors. In this film, he created a masterly mix of humour and drama while setting the film in the period of an important historical event. It may be the reason why Kolya is considered to be one of the most popular and successful Czech films. I believe that the foreign students will now want to watch other Czech films directed by either Svěrák or other significant Czech film directors.
Written by: Míša Doležalová
Translated by: Kristýna Zemková