DIVIDED WE FALL
Why?
Jaroslav Dusek as Horst Prohaska
 
WHY
SYNOPSIS
CREATORS
PRODUCTION
CAST
PHOTOS
CONTACTS
 

About the Making of the Film

At the beginning of May 1999, the veteran crew from the film Cosy Dens made its way to the small town of Josefov, a unique military fortress built in 1780 by Emperor Joseph II. They chose this quaint site to give director Jan Hrebejk's new film, Divided We Fall, an authentic feel. After successfully filming scenes mainly on location, the crew moved to Prague's famed Barrandov Studios to shoot the most powerful scenes in this uncommonly dramatic-and often blackly humorous-story.

The mood during shooting was fine, not only because most of the crew knew each other well, but also due to the huge success Cosy Dens was enjoying just then, breaking records across the Czech Republic in ticket sales.


  About Cosy Dens . . .
A literal phenomenon occurred in contemporary Czech cinematography: less than a year after it hit theaters, Cosy Dens exceeded the magic number (for a Czech film) of one million tickets sold and went on to became not only the most popular film of the year (confirmed by winning a Czech Lion, the most prestigious Czech film award), but also second in box office sales since the creation of the Czech Republic in 1993 (Jan and Zdenek Sverak's Oscar-winning comedy Kolya holds first place).
But in addition to exceptional audience popularity, Cosy Dens can also boast an enthusiastic critical community: at the 1999 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival the film was awarded the prestigious international critics' FIPRESCI Prize. The film also earned many Czech Lion nominations, with Jiri Kodet winning Best Actor.
 



 

Divided We Fall
"The idea for this story, as always, came out of real events various people told me," says screenwriter Petr Jarchovsky. "The first impulse came from writer Petr Sabach: he'd heard about some people who'd hid a young Jewish man during the Second World War, risking their lives and those of their neighbors. We both felt how powerful and worthwhile the topic was. It deals with the simple kind of human heroism that comes out of common decency, but which, at the same time, carries with it a terrible fate."

 

 

Jarchovsky's inspiration for the second storyline came from Jan Halas (son of poet Frantisek Halas) who told him of the bizarre circumstances of his birth on May 9, 1945.

  "First of all I wanted a topic that related to the present day but was timeless, too: what is heroism? what is cowardice? and where they overlap. We don't know people's specific motivations, and we can't so easily pronounce judgment without knowing the reasons for their actions. The Second World War, a mere catalyst in the story, can seem like the distant past, but only several hundred kilometers away a war [was recently] raging," adds the screenwriter.  

  Director Jan Hrebejk: "For me, the film tells a story that reflects my personal view of the strength of human dignity. It shows that even a small display of decency can be very heroic. And, in contrast, sometimes an easily overlooked indecency can turn out to be a great tragedy. Of course, I'd like to tell the story in an entertaining way even in view of its serious W.W.II theme. I think if I succeed it will be-just as with Cosy Dens-mainly because of the actors."  

Like Cosy Dens, Divided We Fall was a co-production between producer-director Ondrej Trojan's film company Total HelpArt T.H.A. and Czech Television's Pavel Borovan Creative Group.


  "When I read the script for the first time, I felt the power of the theme, its fatality," says producer Ondrej Trojan. "I think this will be a milestone in the work of Hrebejk and his team. I'm glad they found the courage to address such a powerful subject because the times we in live now are ripe for such a story-there's no need to be afraid of it." Producer Trojan doesn't doubt the film's success at the box office. His company is already planning other feature-film projects, among which is a script that he himself will direct.  

   
 
WHY
SYNOPSIS
CREATORS
PRODUCTION
CAST
PHOTOS
CONTACTS