Review: ‘A Little Piece Of Heaven’

"A Little Piece of Heaven" follows two young strangers who fall deeply for each other through a series of glances and touches while incarcerated at a 1950s communist prison camp. Pic is a fine, low-key fest entry and a good bet for tube and ancillary rewards on the strength of the modest but fully realized ambitions of helmer Peter Nikolaiev.

A small love story with a big heart, “A Little Piece of Heaven” follows two young strangers who fall deeply for each other through a series of glances and touches while incarcerated at a 1950s communist prison camp. Perhaps too slight for theatrical rewards beyond regional territories, pic is a fine, low-key fest entry and a good bet for tube and ancillary rewards on the strength of the modest but fully realized ambitions of helmer Peter Nikolaiev.

“Don’t get excited, just survive,” jaded prisoner Bruno (Petr Forman) advises spirited young Lubos (Jakub Doubrava). But when the young man falls hard for beautiful laundress Dana (Tana Pauhofova), their almost palpable love places them all at risk. Young leads are fervent without becoming mawkish, Forman provides a steadying voice of experience. Pungent support comes from the always intense Zuzana Stivinova as a rival for Lubos’ affection and Ondrej Vetchy in a comic turn as a doctor in whose office the lovers first embrace. Tech package is fine, led by Jiri Vesely’s convincing art direction and Martin Smolka’s avant-garde score. Co-scripter Jiri Stransky based his novel on personal experience as a political prisoner.

A Little Piece Of Heaven

Czech Republic

Production

A Falcon release (in the Czech Republic) of a Czech TV, Luxor, ABZ Zlin presentation. (International sales: Czech TV, Prague.) Produced by Premysl Prazsky, Jaroslav Kucera,. Directed by Peter Nikolaiev. Screenplay, Jiri Stransky, Nikolaiev, from Stransky's novel.

Crew

Camera (color), Martin Duba; editor, Alois Fisarek; music, Martin Smolka, art director, Jiri Vesely; costume designer, Jarmila Konecna. Reviewed at Finale Pilsen, Czech Republic, April 28, 2005. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Jakub Doubrava, Tana Pauhofova, Petr Forman, Karel Zima, Zuzana Stivinova, Ondrej Vetchy, Pavel Zednicek, Pavel Ladovsky.
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