Archive of films The Damned / Zatracení

Czech Republic
2002, 98 min

Section: Czech Films
Year: 2002

A crime drama loosely based on true-life events surrounding a foreigner arrested for drug smuggling in an Asian country. The story, unfolding in an exotic though fictitious town, dramatises one young man’s road to prison after getting mixed up with heroin traffickers.


A young Czech tourist named Patrik Lovický is arrested at a fictitious Asian airport. Tour guide Tomáš Egermaier, the accused’s stepbrother, notices that one of Patrik’s suitcases makes it onto the plane. Held for smuggling heroin, Lovický vainly claims that he was framed, used merely to draw police attention away from a big shipment of drugs. After his return to the Czech Republic, Tomáš finds a video camera in Patrik’s suitcase with shots of his girlfriend Elena and her mother Michaela. By all accounts, the latter has connections with the international drug dealers who used the young man as a patsy. Originally duped by the whole affair, Tomáš eventually realises that everything is quite different than it seemed at first. . . . The filmmaker engages the situation on three planes: a video recording of the prehistory of the drug event, Tomáš’ efforts to help his imprisoned brother, and Patrik’s time in a tough Asian prison which threatens to become his permanent home.

About the director

Dan Svátek (b. 1975) shot several documentaries and shorts after graduating from film school in Zlín, Moravia. His made-for-TV film, Owl River (1997), won a number of domestic and international prizes. He contributed the story Hope Eclipsed to the feature film, The Beginning of the World (2000), made by a trio of directors (with Pavel Melounek and Vladimír Drha); it tells of a man trying to regain his balance after being shaken while waiting for his medical exam results. In his feature debut, The Damned, Svátek sought to combine an exotic Asian location, a crime story full of intrigue, and an intimate study of a carefree young man who must now acclimatise himself to harsh surroundings.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Czech Films
Director: Dan Svátek
Screenplay: Dan Svátek
Dir. of Photography: Tomáš Sysel
Music: Roman Holý
Editor: Alois Fišárek
Producer: Pavel Melounek, David Prudký, Ondřej Šrámek
Production: ČT, Whisconti, Holiday Films
Cast: Jan Plouhar, Jan Révai, Isabela Bencová, Dana Vávrová, John Comer, Dennis Rudge, Erdem Bileg, Rob Das, Michaela Kuklová, Bořek Šípek

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