The Idiot Returns / Návrat idiota (Czech Republic, 1999)

The Idiot Returns The Idiot Returns

directed by Saša Gedeon, drama, 103 min, eng subtitles

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After many years of some kind of psychiatric treatment, František, the main character, is released from the hospital because, according to his doctor, `He has no reason to hide from life anymore'. He travels across the Czech Republic to a small town where some distant relatives of his live. Arriving there, one day before New Year's Eve, he finds himself caught up in the complicated amorous affairs of two sisters and two brothers, who are too wrapped up in their own misery to recognise his desperate desire to help them all without hurting any of them.

Drawing inspiration from the main character of F. M. Dostoyevsky‘s ‘The Idiot’, the film relates a serio-comic modern-day love story that evolves around a young man who, after having been institutionalised most of his life, is released into the ‘real’ world, bringing him into contact with a circle of four young people who are romantically inter-linked, and none of whom is truly happy. How does a person returning from an institution into the ‘normal’ world see our everyday reality with fresh eyes? What is normal? What is sane? Where does reality end and dreams begin?

Sao Paolo IFF 1999 (Best Film, Best Actress)
Thessaloniki IFF 1999 (Artistic Achievement Award)
Czech Lion 1999 (Best Director, Best Film, Best Writer, Best Music, Best Supporting Actress)