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Pupendo 2003
Description: Artist Bedřich Mára (Bolek Polivka) is unable to search much safe work due to his public antagonism toward the ruling Communist Party. He has a wife and two children. Life starts to change when art historian Alois Fábera (Jiři Pecha) starts working on a piece about Bedřich, leading to a job offer from a Party official. Things are looking up, until the wrong folks hear portions of the historian's writing.
Released: 27 Mar 2003 Director: Jan Hrebejk Writers: Petr Sabach (book), Petr Jarchovský Actors: Bolek Polívka, Eva Holubová, Jaroslav Dusek, Jirí Pecha Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
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Pupendo Reviews:

A unbelievable film. Of course, it's more enjoyable for those who lived in Czechoslovakia in the 80s, but the films does have a universal appeal, as well. It deals with a hard and complex time with humor, yet retains a realistic feel. I highly suggest this movie.Plot: The movie follows two families living in Prague during the 1980s. Every family deals with living in the Communist system in various ways, trying to survive as greatest they can while still remaining real to themselves.


I purchased this on DVD on my last visit to Prague, but didn't look at it until a couple of months later. I picked it up only because I remembered hearing the title, and a Czech mate suggested it. When I finally looked at the film, I realized vaguely that I had seen it before, probably while on an airline flight returning to the US from the Czech Republic some years ago. I remember thinking that I only mildly liked it the first time, so I almost turned it off without watching again. I'm so glad I didn't do that! After a slow start, the humor and the irony started to sink in. By the time the movie was halfway through, I was laughing and (almost) crying my head off. This movie is SO CZECH, and SO RICH, and it definitely gets better on the second viewing. (I tell that even though my first viewing was in less than ideal circumstances, on a tiny airline screen.) I loved it. Another reviewers may have a mission in telling it will enjoy better to folks or already understand Czechoslovakia in the 80s. I've talked to some American mates who can't seem to receive past their own preconceptions about what eastern block communism gotta have been like. Still, I would suggest that anyone who enjoys stories with ironic humor and deeply layered ambiguity give this movie a try.I realize, actually that I've looked it up on IMDb, that I had almost exactly the same reaction to director Jan Hrebejk's following movie "Up and Down." Except that one I liked well enough the first time through... and loved the second time. I would also suggest his "Divided We Fall" and "Beauty in Trouble." But "Pupendo" was a true surprise. Damn!! Actually I'm going to have to search all his work!!Great movie! Thoughtful, subtle, ironic, rich. Receive it!


Jan Hrebejk (Director) once again looks at an aspect of Czech history through the day to day lives of families. While Pupendo is not as nice as his brilliant earlier movie Pelisky it is still a very funny and interesting time capsule.Through the two families we see two various ways of coping with life under Russian imposed communism. One family, Mara, the father a sculptor, an ever suffering wife, a deaf eldest son and a younger son who serves as the innocent inquirer into the unknown, avoid at all costs and to their detriment participating in the system. The other, Brecka, father a principal, mother a director of the Artist Union, daughter learning to be a sculptor and the son at High school, participates despite disagreeing with it.I thoroughly disagree with the another reviewers who tell that you had to have lived under communism to understand or play this movie. All you need is an launch mind, empathy and a sense of humour. I'm from Australia and I should not only relate to the storyline and characters but I laughed out loud all the method through it. The humour comes from the relationships within the families, and between them the fears and dreams of the characters and their dealings with bureaucracy. Things that are universal. Sure the costumes and buildings are far drabber than any English speaking movie set in the 80's, but lets be honest we didn't all dress like we were in a John Hughes movie either.Like most Czech movies i have seen if you need quick paced action, unique results and a plot that is spelt out for you, then this film is not for you. But if you appreciate the drama of living then it is an enjoyable slice of life to spend 2 hours watching.



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