In 1963 Věra Chytilová debuted with this feature film based on her own story idea. It simultaneously tells the stories of two thirtysomething women who have never met but who at different levels have to grapple with the same problem. Feeling squeezed between the monotony of their everyday lives, and their desire for change, are Eva, a female gymnast, and Věra, an ordinary housewife. Eva is determined to round off her career as a top sports woman with some very substantial contests, while Věra grants herself some “respite” from caring for her husband and son through a love affair which, ultimately, requires a solution. In the end, however, neither of the protagonists take advantage of the chance that presents itself to them… The then 34 year-old Chytilová explores what would go on to long endure as her beloved theme: women’s emancipation. In the process, she combines, true to the spirit of the New Wave of Czechoslovak cinema, performances by both professional and amateur actors. Whereas the sports woman’s storyline approaches the documentary format – thanks to a cast that includes real-life gymnast Eva Bosáková and her fellow athletes – Věra’s story is purely fictitious and is grounded in the acting skills of Věra Uzelacová, Josef Langmiler and Jiři Kodet.
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