Marian (Czech Republic/France, 1996)

directed by Petr Václav, drama, 109 min, fr subtitles
written by Petr Václav, Jan Šikl
with Štefan Ferko, Milan Cifra, Radek Holub

A story of a young Roma boy who is desperately trying to find his journey through life in a mostly unfriendly, cold and indifferent world. He was raised in an orphanage from birth and has suffered countless emotional failures. The society provided him with shelter, food and basic hygienic habits but Marián needs love, compassion, understanding and tenderness. When he sets off to seek all these things, he is kicked around and starts falling deeper and deeper. He is trying to defend his integrity but naturally grows up into a hardened personality. His search for a better existence is not much of a success and soon even basic survival becomes rather pointless.

Václav's feature film debut oscillates between a societal investigation and a stylized psychological drama. His sophisticated portrait of a social problem excels by means of stylization and meticulous work with non-actors. Though cooperation with his mother, Ljuba Václavová, the director had a chance to become closely acquainted with life stories of abandoned or deprived children and offers an alarming insight into fate of many Roma kids in a similar situation.

Locarno 1996 (Silver Leopard, FIPRESCI Prize, Youth Jury Prize)
Thessaloniki 1996 (FIPRESCI Prize)