Archive of films Zelary / Želary

Czech Republic / Slovak Republic / Austria
2003, 149 min

Section: Czech Films 2003-2004
Year: 2004

This ballad-like film, inspired by Květa Legátová’s novels Želary and Joza’s Hanule, was the most successful Czech film of 2003 with both critics and audiences.


Eliška was a medical student when the Nazis closed the Czech universities, which forced her to take a job as a hospital nurse. However, one day she is unexpectedly faced with the consequences of becoming involved in resistance activities with her lover, a doctor at work. When threatened with capture, her colleagues hide the young woman under a new identity. Eliška – now Hana – leaves Brno with one of her patients. She barely knows the rough and silent Joza, and is rather frightened of him. Hiding out in a mountain solitude as Joza’s unwilling and clumsy wife, the spoilt girl from the big city eventually gets to know not only love full of tenderness and passion, but also pain. Yet not even this country idyll, in which Joza and Eliška/Hana find refuge for their deep relationship, can avoid the cruelties of war.  The film was based on the autobiographical prose by Květa Legátová.

About the director

Ondřej Trojan (b. 1959, Prague) is a producer, director and actor who made a name for himself with Prague’s Sklep Theatre. He is from an acting family, but studied mathematics and chemistry at the School of Education of Charles University. He worked at Barrandov Film Studios as a property man for two years, and in 1985 began to study at Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU), where he made his first short films (e.g. Seven). He interrupted his studies in 1990 to shoot the feature Let’s All Sing Around. After graduating he made a two-part TV movie about Sklep called Boarding House. With his Sklep colleagues he founded Total HelpArt T.H.A., a company aimed at producing films and audiovisual works. He has produced a number of feature films there, including Big Beat (1993), Cosy Dens (1999), Divided We Fall (2000) and Pupendo (2003) by Jan Hřebejek and Out of the City (2000) by Tomáš Vorel. Zelary was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.


Total HelpArt T.H.A.
Kříženeckého nám. 322, 152 53, Praha 5
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 267 073 007
Fax: +420 267 073 836

Česká televize
Kavčí Hory, 140 70, Praha 4
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 261 131 111

Menemsha Films, Inc.
213 Rose Avenue, 2nd floor, CA 902 91, Venice
United States of America
Tel: +1 310 452 1775
Fax: +1 310 452 3740

Falcon a.s.
Radlická 1c/3185, 150 00, Praha 5
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 422 244
Fax: +420 224 422 240

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Czech Films 2003-2004
Director: Ondřej Trojan
Screenplay: Petr Jarchovský
Dir. of Photography: Asen Šopov
Music: Petr Ostrouchov
Editor: Vladimír Barák
Producer: Ondřej Trojan, Helena Uldrichová
Production: Total HelpArt T. H. A., koprodukce / co-production: Česká televize/Czech Television, Alef Film and Media Group, Dor Film
Cast: Aňa Geislerová, György Cserhalmi, Jaroslava Adamová
Contact: Total HelpArt T.H.A., Česká televize, Menemsha Films, Inc. , Falcon a.s.


Ondřej Trojan

Festival Organizer, Film Director, Producer

Marcela Krejčí


Daria Špačková


Neil Friedman



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