Zelary: Czech Ondrej Trojan’s War Tale

Ondrej Trojan’s Zelary juxtaposes a resilient urban woman with a rural man during WWII.  Based on Kveta Legatova’s fact-inspired novella, the story is set in 1942, during the Nazi occupation.

Eliska (Anna Geislerova) works as nurse in a city hospital with her lover-surgeon Littner. Both are riskily involved in the resistance movement. When Littner’s cover is blown, he’s forced to flee, and Eliska is sent to the Moravian countryside to live with Joseph, a man brought to the hospital for a swimming accident. Using a fictitious name, Eliska travels with Joseph to the remote village of Zelary.   A traditional melodrama ensues, and over the next two years, the woodsman and the educated woman form a complex bond that forces them to regain new sets of values.