Published Sep 01, 2001
Set in the backdrop of World War II, this movie by Jan Sverak, who won a best foreign language film Oscar for "Kolya," is really about friendship and betrayal. It's a touching story about two Czech pilots, who flee Czechoslovakia when the Germans invade. They head for England and join the RAF. Their friendship and loyalty to one another is tested when they fall in love with the same woman. Loyalty and trust become an important issue since the two must fly into battle together.
The story of the friendship is lovingly told, without being overly sentimental. Unfortunately, the story begins in 1950, with one of the pilots in a Czech prison. The Communists had locked up many of the pilots as a potential threat to their regime. The story of the friendship is told in flashbacks. But the scenes in the prison add nothing to the main story in the movie. Though the prison scenes have some interesting elements in them, they should have been the subject of another movie.