Skřivánci na niti

Larks on a String | Lerchen am Faden
During the early years of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, an industrial junkyard near Kladno serves as a re-education camp for “bourgeois elements”. In addition to recalcitrant intellectuals, a group of female prisoners spend their time dismantling and melting down undesirable relics like crucifixes and typewriters to make “peaceful steel” for the good of socialism. Although the men and women are strictly segregated, a tender relationship develops between a young cook and a female labourer … With a romantic tale that is as poetic as it is subversive, director Jiří Menzel debunks state regimentation and posturing as theatre of the absurd, with the government functionaries serving as the chief comic relief. Shot in 1968, this innuendo-rich satire was banned in the wake of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact nations’ quashing of the country’s Prague Spring. Skřivánci na niti was not screened publicly until after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. This film had its international premiere at the 1990 Berlinale, where the squelched New Wave masterpiece was awarded the Golden Bear.
by Jiří Menzel
with Rudolf Hrušínský, Vlastimil Brodský, Václav Neckář, Jitka Zelenohorská, Jaroslav Satoranský, Vladimir Smeral, Ferdinand Kruta, František Řehák, Leoš Suchařípa, Vladimír Ptáček
Czechoslovakia 1969/1990 Czech 95’ Colour


  • Rudolf Hrušínský
  • Vlastimil Brodský
  • Václav Neckář
  • Jitka Zelenohorská
  • Jaroslav Satoranský
  • Vladimir Smeral
  • Ferdinand Kruta
  • František Řehák
  • Leoš Suchařípa
  • Vladimír Ptáček


Director Jiří Menzel
Written by Jiří Menzel, Bohumil Hrabal based on short stories by Bohumil Hrabal
Cinematography Jaromír Šofr
Editing Jiřina Lukešová
Sound Jiří Pavlík
Music Jiří Šust
Production Design Oldrich Bosák
Art Director Vladimír Mácha
Costumes Dagmar Krausová
Make-Up Josef Lojik
Producer Karel Kochman

World sales

Národní filmový archiv

Produced by

Filmové Studio Barrandov

Additional information

DCP: Národní filmový archiv, Prague