The Prime of Life

Kristove roky
Director: Juraj Jakubisko

Czechoslovakia, drama, 1967, 95 min

The painter Juraj, a Slovak living in Prague, is quite helpless when, in his thirties, he realizes that he had been leading a superficial and carefree life. Through his relationships with people close to him, he grows aware of his need to make decisions. He gradually evaluates his own situation and tries to change his life for the better. He understands that now he has to choose between two women he is love with, between the city and the country, and between his passion for art and the need to make a living. This emotional film is about the urgent need to make final decisions when a man comes to a crossroads in his life, when youth is coming to its end and all dreams have to be revaluated.

About the director:

One of the „Czechoslovak New Wave“ members, a Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko (born in the former Czechoslovakia, in 1938) is often described as the Fellini of Eastern Europe. Before entering the film industry, Jakubisko taught still photography at a Bratislava Secondary school for applied arts. He later worked for Czech television in Kosice before attending Prague's Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). After graduating in 1965, Jakubisko worked with Alfred Radok at the "Laterna Magika" theater in Prague and began winning international acclaim with his experimental short films before he made his first feature film, “The Prime of Life" (Kristove Roky, 1967). Following his feature debut, Jakubisko made other two features: "The Deserter and the Nomads" (Zbehovia a pútnici, 1968) and "Birds, Orphans and Fools" (Vtackovia, Siroty a Blazni, 1969). After that, he was side-tracked in the difficult period following the Soviet-led invasion in Czechoslovakia Jakubisko was banned from feature filmmaking until 1980, when he presented a new feature film "Build a House, Plant a Tree" (Postav dom, zasaď strom, 1980). Jakubisko earned an international acclaim with the epic "A Thousand-Year Old Bee" (Tisícročná včela, 1983). This film was an important event for the country – people of all ages went to see it in mass. Accentuating his Slovakian roots, Jakubisko managed to catch the poetry and the most beautiful colours behind an ordinary life.

Section: Films of the Golden Period: Slovak New Wave

Screenplay: Juraj Jakubisko, Ľubomír Dohnal

Dir. of Photography: Igor Luther

Music: Wiliam Bukový

Cast: Jiří Sýkora, Jana Stehnová, Vlado Müller, Miriam Kantorková, Mária Sykorová, Viktor Blaho, Zdeněk Týle, Jiří Stehno, Róbert Krásny