Director Jan Sverak’s debut comedy feature film The Elementary School had its premiere
in October 1991. The script was written by his father Zdenek Sverak, who recounts the autobiographical memories of his childhood spent in a Prague suburb in the aftermath
of WWII. In this nostalgic feature Sverak appeals to hope, humour, wisdom, and human imperfections.
The Elementary School was the first collaboration of director Jan Sverak and scriptwriter Zdenek Sverak, son and father, and takes place in Prague in 1945–1946. Ten–year-old Eda Soucek and his friend Tonda Cejka attend a boys’ classroom with a very bad reputation. When their antics drive their female teacher crazy, she is replaced by the dynamic and impartial Igor Hnizdo, who is rumoured to be a war hero. Women, his only weakness, cause him some trouble in his life. The wild pupils are soon pliant to Hnizdo’s will, ready to fight
for their teacher. Silent Eda compares the teacher with his “unheroic” father, who turns out to be much more of a hero in the end.
The stunning success of The Elementary School culminated in an American Academy nomination in 1992. It is now 25 years since the film’s premiere. Jan Sverak decided
to produce a remastered version of the film – cleaning both the picture and the sound
to return them to their original freshness . The remastered The Elementary School was screened at a renewed premiere on 28 March 2016 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Zdenek Sverak.
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