Kolja (1996) [Director’s Cut] AKA Kolya


Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady’s man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather, Louka.

Director: Jan Sverák.
Stars: Zdenek Sverák, Andrey Khalimon, Libuse Safránková, Ondrej Vetchý, Stella Zázvorková, Ladislav Smoljak, Irina Bezrukova, Irina Bezrukova, Liliyan Malkina, Karel Hermánek, Petra Spalková, Nela Boudová, René Pribil, Miroslav Táborský, Slávka Budínová, Jirí Sovák.

1997 Academy Awards – Winner of an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
1997 Golden Globes – Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.


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  1. James558
    March 8, 2020

    Touching film. Thanks for giving us the directors cut, Jon.

  2. Jacques W
    April 4, 2020

    Excellent and well made.

  3. Daniel Mudford
    January 26, 2024

    I remember this being a highlight at Cannes that year, and I was lucky enough to interview Zdenek Sverák, the director’s father who stars as the Uncle, he was a lovely thoughtful man and it was all very moving. Thank you for this.

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