Length / Distant Journey:
Blu-Ray (24fps): 104 minutes
DVD (25fps): 100 minutes
Length / Special features (Blu-ray): 34 mins
Length / Special features (DVD): 32 mins
Sound / Blu-Ray:
1.0 Mono LPCM (48khz/24-bit)
Sound / DVD: 1.0 Mono
Black and white
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Language: Czech, German
Blu-Ray: BD50 / 1080 / 24fps / Region ABC
DVD: PAL / DVD9 / 25fps / Region 0
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99
DVD RRP: £12.99
Release Date: 25 May 2020
Second Run DVD 129 / SRBD 029
Presented from a new 4K restoration which premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival, Second Run are honoured to release for the first time in the UK Alfréd Radok's remarkable and powerful contemplation of evil, Distant Journey.
Made in 1948, just a few short years after the atrocities it strives to process, Distant Journey is one of the first feature films to address the Holocaust, and was the debut film from the controversial avant-garde visionary of Czech theatre, Alfréd Radok.
Set in the Terezín ghetto as deportations to Nazi extermination camps escalate, Radok's film interweaves the love story of a young Jewish doctor forcibly separated from her Gentile husband, and harrowing documentary footage. With striking, expressionist imagery, Distant Journey presents a harrowing account of the Nazi horrors of the recent past and remains a stark, still-relevant warning from history.
Presented from a stunning new 4K restoration, our region-free Blu-ray and DVD editions also feature new remasters of Radok's celebrated short film The Opening of the Wells (Otvírání studánek), his 'Laterna magica' film of the great Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů's famous cantata of the same and inspired by a poem of Miloslav Bureš; and Butterflies Don't Live Here (Motýli tady nežijí), a documentary film by Miro Bernat about the children of the Terezín ghetto - plus an all-new Projection Booth commentary by Mike White, Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan, and a booklet featuring new writing by film historian Jonathan Owen.
• Presented from a brand new 4K restoration of the film from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
• An all-new Projection Booth commentary with Mike White, Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger.
• Two celebrated short films:
- The Opening of the Wells (Alfréd Radok, 1960) - the Laterna magica film of the great Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů's famous cantata 'Otvírání studánek'.
- Butterflies Don't Live Here (Motýli tady nežijí, 1958) - a short documentary film by Miro Bernat about the children of the Terezín ghetto.
• 20-page booklet featuring a new essay by film historian Jonathan Owen.
• New English subtitle translations.
• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C) and DVD (‘0’) editions.
• UK premiere on Blu-ray and DVD.
Directed by Alfréd Radok
Screenplay - Mojmír Drvota, Erik Kolár, Alfréd Radok
Story - Erik Kolár
Cinematography - Josef Střecha
Editor - Jiřina Lukešová
Music - Jiří Sternwald
Sound - Josef Vlček
Art Direction - František Tröster, Jan Pacák
Artistic consultant - Josef Svoboda
Costumes - Jan Kropáček, František Mádl
Blanka Waleská - Dr. Hana Kaufmannová
Otomar Krejča - Dr. Antonín Bureš
Zdeňka Baldová - Hedvika Kaufmannová
Viktor Očásek - Oskar Kaufmann
Eduard Kohout - Professor Reiter
Anna Vaňková - Margit
Other films dealing with WWII and the Nazi terror include Andrzej Munk's films Passenger and Eroica, István Szabó's Father and Confidence, Jiří Weiss' Romeo, Juliet and Darkness, Jan Němec's Diamonds of the Night, Zbyněk Brynych's Transport from Pardise and Ján Kadár and
Oscar-winning The Shop on the High Street
are also available on Second Run.
“Distant Journey is a masterpiece. [...] Like Orson Welles, Radok was a man of the theater and his use of film form has a comparable audacity.” Jim Hoberman, Village Voice
“The most brilliant, the most horrifying film on the Nazis' persecution of the Jews this reviewer has yet seen”
Bosley Crowther, New York Times
“As much a revelation to all of us as were the films of Véra Chytilová, Miloš Forman, or Jan Němec [all of whom were profoundly influenced by this] tragically premature and anachronistic work of art.”
Josef Škvorecký - All the Bright Young Men and Women: A Personal History of Czech Cinema
“Alfréd Radok's Distant Journey is something of a legend in the Czech Republic, and even during the 40-year period for which it was banned it remained in the Czech collective consciousness as one of the country's film masterpieces.”
Jiří Cieslar, Central Europe Review
“Distant Journey is one of the most important and explicit early feature films about the Holocaust. The authors draw upon different versions of the script, censorship records, newspaper clippings in five languages, and other archival records to follow the film's genesis, authorship, production history, distribution, and reception, both in Czechoslovakia and abroad. The story both reflects and elucidates the shifting political landscape in liberated, and then Communist, Czechoslovakia.”
Jan Láníček and Stuart Liebman, A Closer Look at Alfred Radok's Film 'Distant Journey'