Archive of films Little Crusader / Křižáček

Czech Republic / Slovak Republic / Italy
2017, 90 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2017

Little Jan, the only descendant of the knight Bořek (Karel Roden), has run away from home. His anxious father sets out to find him but his despair at the fruitless search gradually starts to overpower him. Václav Kadrnka has turned out a stylistically well-contoured adaptation of the poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický, where he employs a taciturn film form in order to encourage our imagination to engage in a poetic, cinematic pilgrimage.


One summer’s day little Jan, the only descendant of the knight Bořek (Karel Roden), puts on his child’s armour and runs away from home in search of the Holy Land. His solitude, his faltering as he stumbles over tree roots, and his endeavour to overcome his fear of the dark nevertheless make for an exciting adventure. Having no idea where he is going, however, he soon loses his way, and the archetypal children’s element of the narrative is lost as well. The anxious father sets out in search of his son, yet it seems luck is not on his side. He encounters people who have seen the boy, but he always arrives too late. Bořek gradually succumbs to despair, his confused thoughts disintegrate, and the surrounding landscape becomes the landscape of his mind. Six years after his successful debut Eighty Letters Václav Kadrnka again conjures up a stylistically well-contoured piece, in this case an adaptation of a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický. With its sparing plot and formal inclusion of silence, he encourages our imagination to engage in a poetic, cinematic pilgrimage as we witness a boy’s adventure, a broken bond between a father and son, and the promise of redemption.

Martin Horyna

About the director

Václav Kadrnka

Václav Kadrnka (b. 1973, Gottwaldov, now Zlín, Czechoslovakia) studied theatre science in Great Britain, where he moved with his mother in 1988 to join his father, who had emigrated for political reasons the year before. He worked as assistant director to Vojtěch Jasný, and from 1999 to 2008 studied feature film direction at Prague’s FAMU. His acclaimed student films were presented at the IFFs in Mar del Plata, Munich, New York, Karlovy Vary and Berlin. His feature film debut Eighty Letters was premiered at the Berlinale in 2011. This reconstruction of a single day in communist Czechoslovakia as experienced by a fourteen-year-old boy played at numerous world festivals and received important awards. In 2012 Kadrnka won the Czech Film Critics Award as Discovery of the Year. He spent four years preparing the groundwork for his second film Little Crusader.


Sirius Films
Bubenečská 282/8, 160 00, Praha 6
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 603 167 350
E-mail: [email protected]

CinemArt, a.s.
Národní 60/28, 111 21, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 949 110
E-mail: [email protected]

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About the film

Color, DCP
World premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Václav Kadrnka
Screenplay: Václav Kadrnka, Jiří Soukup, Vojtěch Mašek podle básně / based on the poem Svojanovský křižáček (“The Little Crusader of Svojanov”) by Jaroslav Vrchlický
Dir. of Photography: Jan Baset Střítežský
Music: Irena Havlová, Vojtěch Havel
Editor: Pavel Kolaja
Art Director: Luca Servino
Producer: Václav Kadrnka, Marko Škop, Ján Meliš, Carlo Cresto-Dina
Production: Sirius Films
Coproduction: Artileria, Česká televize, Tempesta, innogy, Barrandov Studio, i/o post
Cast: Karel Roden, Aleš Bílík, Matouš John
Contact: Sirius Films
Distributor: CinemArt, a.s.


Karel Roden


Aleš Bilík


Václav Kadrnka st.


Simona Kadrnková


Vojtěch Mašek


Jiří Soukup


Jan Baset Střítežský

Director of Photography

Katarína Štrbová Bieliková

Costume Designer

Jaroslav Sedláček


Manuela Melisano


Václav Kadrnka

Film Director / Producer

Marko Škop

Film Director, Producer

Jana Ol´hová


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