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


Year: 1998
Country: Czech Republic
Run Time: 102 minutes

Petr Zelenka's "black comedy about forgiveness" interlaces six - at least - separate but interdependent narratives, all of which come together in one night on the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Participants include a succession of adulterous couples trying to make love in a taxi, or trying to catch other couples in the act in a taxi; a disgruntled, champion trainspitter (that's right, not trainspotter . . . but trainspitter); a psychologist rushing towards his own crackup; a distinguished-looking gentleman iwth a curious fetish for buttons; and the penitent pilot of the Enola Gay, re-materializing for a new mission. If only it were that simple, alas! Narrative time in BUTTONERS does not always flow in a single straightforward direction, and not all of what you see can be safely disbelieved, even when it's positively nuts. Yet the unbalanced Czech account, like an M.C. Escher etching, takes on a wondrous symmetry when seen from the proper angle. Already a cult hit in Eastern Europe, BUTTONERS trips swtiches in your mind you didn't even know you had, with its wildly original blend of gravity, levity, philosophy and sci-fi. (In Czech with English subtitles)

Petr Zelenka

Petr Zelenka

Czech Television Creative Team

Miro Gabor

David Charap

Principal Cast
Jiri Kodet, Broivoj Navratil, Rudolf Hrusinksy, Eva Holubova, Vladimir Dlouhy

Film Contact
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