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Film poster
Directed by Jan Svěrák
Produced by Eric Abraham
Jan Svěrák
Written by Zdeněk Svěrák
Starring Zdeněk Svěrák
Andrey Khalimon (Andrej Chalimon)
Libuše Šafránková
Music by Ondřej Soukup
Bedřich Smetana
Cinematography Vladimír Smutný
Edited by Alois Fišárek
Distributed by Space Films
Release dates
  • May 1996 (1996-05) (Cannes)
  • 15 May 1996 (1996-05-15) (Czech Republic)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Czech Republic
Language Czech, Slovak and Russian
Budget CZK 28 millions[1]
(app. $1 million)
Box office $7.7 million[2]

Kolya (Czech: Kolja) is a 1996 Czech drama film about a man whose life is reshaped in an unexpected way. The film was directed by Jan Svěrák and stars his father, Zdeněk Svěrák, who also wrote the script from a story by Pavel Taussig.[3] Kolya earned critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[4]


  • Synopsis 1
  • Principal cast 2
  • Reception 3
    • Box office 3.1
  • Awards 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The film begins in 1988 as the Soviet bloc is beginning to disintegrate. František Louka, a middle-aged Czech man dedicated to bachelorhood and the pursuit of women, is a concert cellist struggling to eke out a living by playing funerals at the Prague crematorium. He has lost his previous job at the Czech Philharmonic, having been half-accidentally blacklisted as "politically unreliable" by the authorities. A friend offers him a chance to earn a great deal of money through a sham marriage to a Russian woman to enable her to stay in Czechoslovakia. The woman then uses her new citizenship to emigrate to West Germany, where her boyfriend lives.

Due to a concurrence of circumstances, she has to leave behind her 5-year-old son, Kolya, for the disgruntled Czech musician to look after. At first Louka and Kolya have communication difficulties, as they don't speak each other's languages and the many false friend words that exist in Czech and Russian add to the confusion. Gradually, though, a bond forms between Louka and Kolya. The child suffers from suspected meningitis and has to be placed on a course of carefully monitored antibiotics. Louka is threatened with imprisonment for his suspect marriage and the child may be placed in a Russian children's home. The Velvet Revolution intervenes though, and Kolya is reunited with his mother. Louka and Kolya say their goodbyes.

Bachelor Louka ends up fathering a child with his girlfriend - perhaps a replacement for lost Kolya - and regains his position as a virtuoso with the philharmonic orchestra.

Principal cast

Role Actor
Kolya Andrey Khalimon
Louka Zdeněk Svěrák
Klára Libuše Šafránková
Mr. Brož Ondřej Vetchý
Louka's mother Stella Zázvorková


The film gained positive reviews.[5] [6] [7] [8]

Box office

The film was successful on limited release.[9]


See also


  1. ^ Česká televize: Kolja - Co možná nevíte
  2. ^ worldwideboxoffice: Kolya
  3. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1997-01-24). "'"Father and Son Team Up in 'Kolya.  
  4. ^ "The 69th Academy Awards (1997) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Maslin, Janet (1997-01-24). "What a Difference a Boy Makes".  
  6. ^ "Kolya".  
  7. ^ Guthmann, Edward (1997-09-12). "FILM REVIEW -- Charming `Kolya' Has Magic Touch".  
  8. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1997-01-24). "A Heart-Tugger With a Czech Twist".  
  9. ^ King, Susan (1997-01-28). "Jerry Maguire Ahead of Pack--Barely".  

External links

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