14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
a tender masterpiece,
This review is from: Dark Blue World [DVD]  (DVD)
Courage, friendship, wartime heroism...all the finest qualities of mankind are contrasted with the cruelty of the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Czechoslovakia in this WWII story of Czech fighter pilots who escaped the Nazi invasion to serve in England, and it is told in flashback from an airman who returns to his homeland, and is jailed and tortured by the Soviets, who took over and finished the job of crushing the Czech people when the Nazis were defeated.
The aerial photography is superb, and anyone interested in early fighter planes will love this film; cinematographer Vladimir Smutny is also masterful in the interior shots, with their ambiance of the late '30s-early '40s, and in capturing the picturesque English countryside. There is a gentleness to the story despite the violence of the war, and director Jan Sverak manages to touch every emotion during the course of this 112 minute film. It is brilliantly directed as well as acted, and the two male leads, Ondrej Vetchy (Franta) and Krystof Hadek (Karel), make their parts into living beings, and we laugh and cry with them.
Others of note are Tara Fitzgerald (Susan), Charles Dance (Commander Bentley), and Linda Rybova (Hanicka), and in the small part of an English teacher, Anna Massey puts in a memorable performance.
Inspiring, deeply moving, very human, this is a film that gets better with repeated viewing, and is one to own and treasure.