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, 4K DCP World premiere 2021 digitally restored version


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


DirectorJiří Menzel
Written byJiří Menzel, Bohumil Hrabal, based on short stories by Bohumil Hrabal
CinematographyJaromír Šofr
EditingJiřina Lukešová
SoundJiří Pavlík
MusicJiří Šust
Production DesignOldrich Bosák
Art DirectorVladimír Mácha
CostumesDagmar Krausová
Make-UpJosef Lojik
ProducerKarel Kochman

Produced by

Filmové Studio Barrandov

World Sales

Národní filmový archiv

Additional information

DCP: Národní filmový archiv, Prague