Screenwriter Jiří Křižan and director František Vláčil twice joined forces to work on dramatic tales relating to the troubled post-war years. Stíny horkého léta (Shadows of a Hot Summer, 1977) takes place in 1947 in the Beskid Mountains. The pair’s latter adaptation of the Ladislav Fuchs’ novel Pasáček z doliny (The Little Herdsman from the Valley, 1983) is also set in this location. In both cases, locals’ lives are disturbed by Ukrainian nationalist paramilitaries wandering through the woods and desperately looking for an opportunity to escape west across the border. In this film, shepherd Ondřej Baran (Juraj Kukura), living at a remote sheep farm in the mountains, is forced into a deadly game of trying to protect his family while avoiding being sucked into a malevolent world. Baran’s delicate wife is played by Marta Vančurová. Jiří Bartoška plays a blond-haired pro-Stepan Bandera militant in this intense and dramatic feature film.
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