Birds, Orphans and Fools DVD
Comedy / Drama / Fantasy

Birds, Orphans and Fools

Birds, Orphans and Fools (VtáĨkovia, siroty a blázni)

A film by Juraj Jakubisko.

Ranked among the five best Slovak films by Slovak and Czech film critics, Juraj Jakubisko's long-repressed tale of love, death and insanity focuses on the unconventional relationship between two men and a Jewish orphan girl (Marketa Lazarová's eponymous Magda Vášáryová) as they travail a war-torn landscape of bombed-out churches and wrecked homes. Their triangular relationship echoes Truffaut's Jules et Jim - but Jakubisko's protagonists have no romantic ideals; they are all orphans, products of an absurd world in which war, violence and death predominate.

Shot immediately after the Soviet invasion of 1968, with references to key episodes in Slovak and contemporary history, and studded with cultural and historical references, the film evokes the cinema of Godard and Buñuel - and the anarchic air of Chytilová's Daisies. Jakubisko's exhilarating and free-wheeling film is by turns playful, surreal and, finally, increasingly nightmarish. Regarded by authorities as 'decadent and harmful art', the film was banned until the very end of the Communist regime in 1989. Forty-years on, it remains, both politically and formally, one of the most radical films of the Czechoslovak New Wave.

Production Year: 1969
Region Code: 0
UK Rating: 15
Running Time: 78 mins
Language: Slovak
Subtitles: English
Audio: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Colour: Colour
Director Juraj Jakubisko
Cast Philippe Avron
Cast Jirí Sýkora
Cast Magda Vásáryová
  • Presented from a new HD restoration of the film
  • 20-page booklet featuring a new essay by author and film programmer Peter Hames
  • New and improved English subtitle translation.