29 March 1987. Director Václav Kadrnka reconstructs a single day in communist Czechoslovakia as he, himself, had experienced it as a 14-year-old boy. Adolescent Vašek accompanies his determined mother as she tries to gather the necessary documents and permits which will allow them both to travel outside the Iron Curtain. His mother spends every spare minute writing to her husband, who recently emigrated for political reasons to Great Britain. Yet an intense unexpressed bond continues between her and her son.... In this stylistically and formally exceptional piece, the debuting filmmaker hardly makes any references to period lifestyles or actualities, thus shifting the story towards the realm of abstract existential drama. The economical, finely wrought narrative of a divided family examines the spiritual message pervading their sense of nostalgia and yearning.
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