Tag Archives: Daniela Smutná

Jirí Weiss – Zbabelec AKA The Coward (1962)

In a remote Slovak village in the closing days of World War II, a schoolteacher and his young wife find a wounded Russian parachutist in their front yard just as the Germans are coming in to occupy their village. As his wife readily becomes involved with anti-Nazi partisans, the schoolteacher collaborates with the Germans in fear. Read More »

Jirí Weiss – Zlaté kapradí AKA The Golden Fern (1963)


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A great fairy tale from a great storyteller
26 May 2005 | by simon-bensasson (Greece)

This is the story of a woodcutter in Bohemia during a war between Austria and Turkey. Wandering in the forest he finds a golden fern whose seed turns into a beautiful young woman – they fall in love. After a village feast in which he gets drunk he gets to sign up to the army. The fairy gives him a shirt to wear and asks him to swear he will never part with it. At the war front he falls in love with the the colonels daughter; cold beauty who asks him to perform various feats in order to respond to his courting (bring her the horse of the grand-vizier, then the necklace of the grand-vizier’s wife and finally his nightingale). In performing these feats he proves invulnerable to bullets, swords and other calamities – protected by the fairy’s shirt. Before performing the last feat, however, the colonel’s daughter asks him to throw away his ugly shirt, which he does. He returns, wounded and disguised in Turkish clothes to escape from the enemy camp. He gets arrested as a spy and condemned to death by a thousand strikes. His comrades who are assigned to throw his body at the river discover he’s still alive and let him go. Returning to his village he does not find Sylvana (the fairy of the golden fern) and the film ends with him wandering in the forest shouting her name in a beautiful photograph in which the camera moves high up the trees. Read More »