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The Elementary School

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Original title
Obecna skola (The Elementary School)
Running time
104 min.
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Zdenek Sverák
Jirí Svoboda
F.A. Brabec
, , , ,
Filmove Studio Barrandov
Drama. Comedy | Comedy-Drama. Schools & University. 1940s. Education. Teen/coming-of-age
Synopsis / Plot
A group of ten-year-old friends nears the cusp of adolescence in post-World War II Czechoslovakia, developing a curiosity about love and the other ineffable aspects of adulthood. Coming-of-age story set in 1945. The post-war climate is illustrated in a small Czechoslovakian village. Eda and Tonda are two young boys whose mischievous antics involving rocketry (from salvaged unexploded shells found lying around) send their meek teacher to an asylum. She is replaced by a larger-than-life figure who purports himself to have been a hero of the resistance during the war (a fact most that most of us would question). He uses his position of authority as a pulpit from which to expound on his beliefs and drives home the point for truth and honor. The heretofore undisciplined boys hang on his every word and are changed by him. The paradox is that while the teacher leads the boys on a path to glory, he is himself consumed with lust, for women and glory. The principal character, young Eda, learns to separate the wheat from the chaff as he discovers the teachers faults, yet retains the lessons of honor and truth.

Academy Award Nominations: Best Foreign Language Film.
1991: Academy Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film
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