Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

BALLAD FOR A BANDIT

Year: 1978
Country: Czechoslovakia
Run Time: 87 minutes

BALLAD FOR A BANDIT

Nikola Sohaj is a legendary folk hero, a bandit whose determination to marry the love of his life inspired numerous literary treatments. A stage version has been performed by the "Na provazku" (On the String) Theater in Brno. The film version of BALLAD FOR A BANDIT is based on this play; principal roles are played by the same actors who appeared in Brno. A natural amphitheater is the setting for the opening sequence of the film. A young audience is assembled to see the ballad about the famous bandit when suddenly, during the performance, all barriers between spectators and the actors disappear. Everyone becomes part of the theatrical production, joining in as actors, singers and assistants. The story begins with Nikola's (Miroslav Donutil) army desertion during wartime. Nikola and his friend Derbak (Pavel Zatloukal) seek help from Morana, a witch. She promises protection and Nikola hides out in the mountains, dreaming of the day he can marry the young Erzika (Iva Bittova). When the war ends, Nikola and Derbak lead a bandit gang and soon Nikola has enough money for marriage. However, the ambitions of others set him up for betrayal.

Screenplay
Vladimir Sis and Zdenek Pospisil

Producer
Cinema Barrandov

Cinematography
Viktor Ruzicka

Principal Cast
Miroslav Donutil, Iva Bittova, Boleslav Polivka, Pavel Zatloukal

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