When a financially strapped former symphony cellist, now making a meager living by playing at funerals, gets pressured into a paper marriage with a friend's single-mother niece, his roving-eye bachelor life is turned upside-down. The beautiful young woman immediately abandons her new husband and her five-year-old son, and the unlikely duo struggles to adjust to their new lives in Prague on the eve of 1989's Velvet Revolution. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Academy Award: Best Foreign Language Film.
1996 - Academy Awards - Best Foreign Language Film Winner
Jan Sverak - Czech filmmaker, "Kolya" & "The Elementary School"
Zdenek Sverak - Screenwriter, "The Elementary School"
Libuse Safrankova - Czech Actress
Alois Fisarek - Editor
Vladimir Smutny - Director Of Photography
Set in Czechoslovakia shortly before the 1989 Velvet Revolution, "Kolya" is the story of an aging cynic named Frantisek, a Czech who weds a Russian woman for her money. Suddenly, the woman flees to West Germany, leaving behind her young son Kolya. The crotchety Frantisek wants nothing to do with the child -- they don't even speak the same language. But as the old man tries to dump Kolya on someone else, the pair slowly develop a lasting, poignant relationship, that enriches both of their lives.
Co-produced by Biograf Jan Sverak Pictures (Prague), in association with Czech Television, Lucerna Film, CCV, AND Cinemart. Shown at the 1996 Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Zdenek Sverak, who wrote and stars in this film, is the father of director Jan Sverak.
"...A feel-good movie dealing in part with Soviet bloc bureaucracies in 1988..." -- 3 out of 4 stars - 02/13/1997 USA Today, p.4D
"...[Kolya] balances heartwarming sentiment with gentle humor and observations that strike universal chords..." - 09/09/1996 Variety
"...A gem of a Czech film....Wise and worldly..." - 01/24/1997 New York Times, p.C3
"...Lovely....It's a heart melter....Chalimon is a gem..." -- Rating: A- - 03/07/1997 Entertainment Weekly, p.50
"...KOLYA is a crowd-pleaser....Chalimon is irresistible....With the further pluses of luminous cinematography and a soaring, emotional score, KOLYA can't miss..." - 01/24/1997 Los Angeles Times, p.F1
"...There are some lovely, affecting and warmly amusing moments here..." - 01/31/1997 Chicago Sun-Times, p.37