Archive of films Marcela / Marcela

Czech Republic
2006, 82 min

Section: Czech Films 2006-2007
Year: 2007

Helena Třeštíková began her unique documentary film project in 1980, when Marcela married Jiří at the Old Town Hall. During the ensuing years, this ordinary, socially and privately insecure woman suffered disappointments and a sudden, painful tragedy. Marcela’s story is highly individual, however, behind the scenes, it pieces together an image of the changes in Czech society over the last quarter of a century.


Marcela married Jiří in 1980. She could not foresee that she would have problems with her flat and her mother-in-law, that she would give birth to a daughter and that, two years later, she would divorce. Unravelling before our eyes is the authentic story of an ordinary woman in an inadequate social environment and a less than satisfactory relationship. A big shock awaits her in November 2005 when her 25-year-old daughter Ivanka tragically dies. Documentary filmmaker Helena Třeštíková was at her side even at the most difficult time of her life. After her story was aired in February 2006, television viewers began spontaneously expressing their sympathy… But her story continues. “I rather listen than talk” says Třeštíková, expressing a lasting philosophy which she also applied to the film project begun in the 1980s. Her film traced six newly-wed couples and subsequently grew into something unique: after six short TV films entitled Marriage Etudes (1987), the feature-length documentaries Out of Love (1987) and Looking for Ways (1988) and six hour-long segments Marriage Etudes 20 Years On (2006) came the film Marcela – a highly individual narrative, discreetly mirroring the transformations in Czech society over the last quarter of a century.

About the director

Helena Třeštíková (b. 1949, Prague) studied film direction at FAMU (1974). At the end of 1990 she co-founded the Film & Sociology Foundation and in 1994 the Man and Time Foundation. She has been developing her real-time documentaries, shot over several years, since her student piece The Live Water (1972). She has made over 40 documentaries, the majority concerning human relationships, social problems and women’s issues. Selected filmography: Touch of Light (1979), If Something Needs Our Help – It’s Freedom (1990), Lida Baarova’s Bittersweet Memories, 1996), Excommunicated from Literature (1999), The Sweet Century (1998 – Best Documentary at the KVIFF) and Women at the Turn of the Century (Trapped, 2001 – Special Award as Best Documentary at the KVIFF). Long-term cycles: Tell Me Something About Yourself (begun in 1989), and Marriage Etudes (1987–2006).


Jirečkova 8, 170 00, Praha 7
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 947 566
Fax: +420 224 947 566
E-mail: [email protected]

Taskovski Films Ltd.
19-21 Christopher Street, EC2A 2B, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +387 656 520 46
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Czech Films 2006-2007
Director: Helena Třeštíková
Dir. of Photography: Jan Malíř, Miroslav Souček, Vlastimil Hamerník
Editor: Alois Fišárek, Lenka Polesná, Zdenek Patočka
Producer: Kateřina Černá, Pavel Strnad, Anna Becková
Production: Negativ s.r.o.
Contact: Aerofilms, Taskovski Films Ltd.
Distributor: Aerofilms


Helena Třeštíková

Film Director, Producer

Kateřina Černá


Irena Taskovski

Sales Agent

John Riley

Producer, Sales Agent

Uta Gildhuis

Sales Agent

Alma Monica Marquez Bobadilla


Alina Stylianou


Ivo Andrle



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