Archive of films Solar Eclipse / Pod sluncem tma

Czech Republic
2011, 81 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2011

The latest film by successful Czech documentarist Martin Mareček uses the case of two Czech electricians helping out in a Zambian village to present an exemplary study of the various drawbacks of providing aid to developing countries, while wonderfully illustrating the disparities in culture, thought and behaviour between Africans and Europeans.


In 2006 two Czech electricians, Milan and Tomáš, set off for the Zambian village of Mupande. Exploiting a "higher level of African improvisation” they managed to provide electric power to the local school, clinic and several homes, and brought the villagers out of their equatorial darkness. Five years later they return to the site of their worthy deed and discover to their dismay that their ingeniously constructed system is in ruins. With considerable effort and to the sound of numerous expletives from temperamental Tomáš, they set to work repairing the damage caused by the villagers’ clumsy interventions. The latest film written and directed by successful Czech documentarist Martin Mareček presents a tightly structured, exemplary study of the various drawbacks of providing aid to developing countries, which include the frequent hazards of "redemption.” Without a hint of judgement but with traces of humour, it also wonderfully illustrates the disparities of culture, thought and behaviour between Africans and Europeans.

About the director

Martin Mareček

Martin Mareček (b. 1974, Prague) studied documentary film at Prague’s FAMU, where he has headed a creative workshop since 2003. While still a student he was applauded at the FAMU festival for his films Maple ’98 (1998) and Egg Methods (1999), and he later followed up this success with further documentaries, such as Dust Games (2001), The Source (2005) and Auto*Mate (2009), which brought him numerous awards, both at home and abroad. The last of these was even voted Documentary Film of the Decade in an internet poll conducted in 2010 by Jihlava’s International Documentary Film Festival and Czech Television. Apart from directing, Mareček is also a script editor, musician, and well-known social, ecological and human rights activist. Other films: Čistička divadlem (1999), Great Bear: Chinatown (2002), Home Within... (2003), Solar Eclipse (2011).


Hypermarket Film s.r.o.
Myslíkova 28, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP
World premiere

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Martin Mareček
Screenplay: Martin Mareček
Dir. of Photography: Jiří Málek
Editor: Martin Mareček
Producer: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda
Production: Hypermarket Film s.r.o.
Contact: Hypermarket Film s.r.o.


Martin Mareček

Film Director

Tereza Horská


Milan Smrž


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