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Slovak Studies Program

Martin Votruba


Jánošík. The True Story.



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With over two centuries of folk and literary traditon behind it and nine film versions from a cartoon to a TV series and a spoof, the theme of the benign highway robber Jánošík has survived through the 21st century, fixed up with visuals to match. As in this sequence, Jánošík: The True Story intends to attract by familiar folkloric entertainment, themes of jealousy and infidelity-or-virtue (Jánošík's, Václav Jiráček, seductress Zuzana, Katarzyna Herman, put a spell on him), resplendent and nationally symbolic mountain landscapes, eroticism, religious magic (the folklorized Virgin Mary played by the former supermodel Małgorzata Bela) – all delivered through a variety of techniques punctuated by arch details, like Jánošík's and Zuzana's intertwined braids here (invented before the Na'vi lovers' "neural queues" in Avatar). Compare Jánošík 1921 and Jánošík 1935.

Virgin Mary: "Your handsome body could really be wasted. And what about your soul... My heart aches when I think of it."

Jánošík: "I'm unhappy about that. I'm sorry if you hurt because of me. I'm really sorry."


Slovak cinema after World War II.


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