This film is currently unavailable

Cutting It Short

Warmly nostalgic look at small-town life from Oscar®-winning director Jiří Menzel (Closely Observed Trains).

Drama 1980 98 mins Not rated

Director: Jirí Menzel


A much loved piece of classic Czech cinema tells a delightful comic story based on the work of Bohumil Hrabal, in which Menzel and Hrabal (whose collaboration on Closely Observed Trains earned them an Oscar) recreated the 1920s world of Hrabal's childhood in the Nymburk brewery. The peaceful family harmony provided by the balance between Maryška, his charming, outgoing and emancipated mother and Francin, his earnest but shy and reserved father is shattered by the unexpected arrival of eccentric uncle Pepin, a loud storyteller and globetrotter. Look out for many memorable set pieces such as the cutting of Maryška’s magnificently long hair to the dismays of the male population of the town, her subsequent public punishment and a chimney climbing scene straight from the Harold Lloyd or Buster Keaton playbooks. A pure delight, it is a lyrical film evoking childhood memories full of ridiculous situations, quirky humour and tempting looking beer.

The 4K digital restoration is by Národní filmový archív, Prague. Part of the 25th Made in Prague Festival, 7 November – 10 December 2021, organised by the Czech Centre London.