Barking Boxshot
Czechoslovakia, 1967
Length / Dragon’s Return: 81 minutes
Length / Special feature: 22 minutes
Sound: Mono (restored)
Black and white
Original aspect ratio:
1.66:1 / 16:9 anamorphic
Language: Slovak
Subtitles: English On/Off
Region 0
RRP: £12.99
buyRelease Date: 24 August 2015
Second Run DVD 103

A key film from Slovak cinema’s golden era, Eduard Grečner's Dragon's Return is a radical fusion of ancient folklore and experimental modernism - and an exciting rediscovery.

A reclusive potter, Martin Lepiš - nicknamed 'Dragon' - is exiled from his isolated mountain village. Years later he returns, aiming to win back the trust of the villagers, but his re-appearence instead engenders an atmosphere of suspicion, guilt, and simmering violence. Set at an unspecified time in the distant past, in a world ruled by superstition and seemingly isolated from history, this deceptively simple story is imbued with mythic qualities.

Shot in luminous monochrome, and enhanced by an extraordinary score from Ilja Zeljenka, Grečner's haunting film is a work of brooding atmosphere and rich physicality. An elemental vision of clay, rock, blood and fire.

The DVD presents the film from a superb new high definition digital transfer, and also includes a new filmed introduction by Czech and Slovak cinema expert Peter Hames and a booklet featuring a new essay on the film by author and academic Jonathan Owen.

more about the film

Blonde Stills

Special Features

• Presented from a superb new HD restoration of the film.

• New filmed introduction to the film by Czech and Slovak cinema expert Peter Hames.

• 16-page booklet featuring a new essay by author and academic Jonathan Owen.

• New and improved English subtitle translation.

• Available for the first time on home video in the English-speaking world.

Related Titles
Radovan Lukavský – Martin Lepiš (Dragon)
Gustáv Valach – Šimon Jariabek
Emília Vášáryová - Eva
Viliam Polónyi - Mayor
Jozef Čierny - Čierny

Directed by Eduard Grečner

Screenplay - Eduard Grečner
Based on the novella by Dobroslav Chrobák
Music – Ilja Zeljenka
Editor - Bedřich Voděrka
Sound – Ondrej Polomský
Art direction – Anton Krajčovič
Set design - Jozef Suchý
Costume design - Milan Laluha, Anna Lidáková
Assistant director - Martin Slivka


"An intersection between modern art and folk culture... an eternal ballad about the essence of life" Peter Hames

"A compelling film, surely as exciting today as it was originally" Senses of Cinema

"A beautifully poetic piece, big on atmosphere and intense psychological reflection… Another truly special film from a truly special time" Bonjour Tristesse

“It is a work of great visual culture, a slide-show of pure cinematic images. It resembles a classic tragedy yet at the same time thanks to its ideas, it is a contemporary piece”
R. Hassmann: Grečner True to Chrobák

“It lures by its look, enchants by its music, challenges by its defence of the fates of its characters”
Ivan Gerlach, Grečner’s Film Ballad, Ľud

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