The fourth full-length film by Slovak director Dušan Hanák, I Love, You Love, was made in 1980 but, due to Communist censorship, audiences only got to see it in 1988. Just as in the case of Rosy Dreams (1976), the concept and script were written by Dušan Hanák together with writer and screenwriter Dušan Dušek. The tragicomic story of lonely bachelor Pišta, who takes to drink in an effort to overcome disadvantages stemming from his small stature and unsightly appearance and who is in love with his ageing colleague Viera, who in turn haplessly and hopelessly loves Pišta’s friend Vinco, takes place in a small railway post office.
“Our tragicomic hero would like to increase his presence, but he cannot. Whenever he arrives somewhere, nobody even notices. He fights against the adversity of fate with the jovial humour of an unpretentious man. If this film can be said to be about love, then it’s love in the broader sense of the word that we sought to portray – the profound need of a human being to get close to another human being,” stated director Dušan Hanák about his film.
The main characters were portrayed by the Polish actor and theatre director Roman Klosowski (Pišta), the Serbian actor and film director Milan Jelić (Vinco), and the Czech actress Iva Janžurová (Viera). The actor and director Juraj Nvota and Roma singer Věra Bílá also played minor roles. The exteriors were shot in Bratislava, Veľké Leváre, Borský Mikuláš, Limbach and Šaštín-Stráže from 22 August 1979 to 27 January 1980. Upon completion, the film was filed away just like two other of Hanák’s full-length films – the feature film 322 (1969) and the documentary Pictures of the Old World (1972). The film was withheld on account of its aesthetics of ugliness, gloom and pessimism; these did not officially exist within the socialist society. The première was deferred for eight years, and the film wasn’t released into distribution until November 1988. Czechoslovak film critics were elated by the film. In 1989, it was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for Best Director, and at the Strasbourg International Film Festival, where it received the Grand Prix and FIPRESCI Award.
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