The Valley of the Bees Boxshot
The Valley of the Bees
Czechoslovakia, 1967
Length / The Valley of the Bees: 97 minutes
Sound: Original mono (restored)
Black & White
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1 16x9 anamorphic
Language: Czech
Subtitles: English On/Off
Region 0
RRP: £12.99
buyRelease Date: 22nd March 2010
Second Run DVD 040
A visionary and evocative medieval epic, Vláčil’s The Valley of the Bees is just as powerful and engrossing a film as his more famous Marketa Lazarová.

It chronicles the tale of a young boy forced to join the Order of the Teutonic Knights. As he grows into a man his desire to return to his homeland leads him to abandon the Crusaders, only to be pursued by a fanatical former comrade and pay a terrible price for his rejection of the Holy Order.

With its resplendent black-and-white cinematography and highly convincing recreation of 13th-century Europe, the film is a raw and haunting moral fable which raises questions about the conflict between human nature and dogmatism.

Released just before the ’68 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the film’s theme was given a political interpretation and its screenings severely restricted by the authorities.

more about the film

The Valley of the Bees Stills
Special Features
• Presented in a new digital transfer with restored picture and sound.
• Anamorphic 16.9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Booklet featuring essay by author and film programmer Peter Hames.
• Optimal quality dual-layer disc.

Petr Čepek - Ondřej of Vlkov
Jan Kačer - Armin von Heide
Věra Galatíková - Lenora
Michal Kožuch - Father Blasius
Zdeněk Kryzánek - Ondřej’s father
Josef Somr - Rotgier
Jana Hlaváčková - Blind girl

Directed by František Vláčil

Screenplay – Vladimír Körner and František Vláčil
Cinematography – František Uldrich
Costume Design - Theodor Pištěk
Music - Zdeněk Liška
Editing - Miroslav Hájek
Sound - František Fabián
Production Group - Ladislav Novotný-Bedřich Kubala

“Vláčil was, with just a handful of films to prove it, the Czech New Wave's formalist, post-expressionist wrecking ball, their Welles, their Paradjanov” Village Voice

“Combines the epic grandeur of Kurosawa with the compositional rigour of Eisenstein” Pacific Cinematheque

Related Titles
František Vláčil’s acclaimed feature Marketa Lazarová is also available from Second Run DVD.

Marketa Lazarová

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