Ružové sny / Rosy Dreams (Czechoslovakia, 1976)

directed by Dušan Hanák, comedy, 80 min, eng subtitles

with Juraj Nvota, Iva Bittová, Josef Hlinomaz, Marie Motlová, Ľudovít Kroner, Libuše Havelková, Václav Babka, Hana Slivková, Anton Trón




A poetic comedy about a village postman Jakub and a gipsy girl, Jolana. Jakub, a dreamy chap living in a sleepy village, spends his days playing pranks on everyone, resenting his father with his mother's tacit support, and admiring Jolana from the neighbouring Romani hamlet - until Jolana responds. Faced with mistrust from both Jakub's and Jolana's families and venom from segments of their communities, Jakub pulls one more, grave prank that, he imagines, will help support the two teenagers as they take the train to the nearby city in order to live together.

The authorities permitted Rosy Dreams to be distributed only in limited release. It received the Czechoslovak Critics' Award for 1976 and the Czech and Slovak Film Festival's Audience Award in Bratislava in 1977. It became the only Slovak film made in the repressive 1970s that was shown abroad. When it was released on VHS after the collapse of communism in Central Europe, it became a particular favourite with the Romani community in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The screenplay was written by the director Hanák and the Slovak writer Dušek during 1974-1975. The authorities delayed the shooting of Rosy Dreams for a year, because Hanák and Dušek refused to rewrite it with a socially optimistic ending that would have the two main characters getting married. Both authors did research in Romani settlements and fashioned their script accordingly. They even hired a Professor of Romani Studies as a consultant, who also helped with the Romani dialogues. This approach, very close to reality, made the film, despite its whimsical poetic style, realistic and credible.

The Rosy Dreams is the first Central European feature film that put the Roma community at the centre stage in a realistic manner. An extraordinary artistic achievement during the repressive period after the 1968 Soviet invasion.


Teheran IFF 1977 (Special Critics Award)

Czechoslovak Film Festival 1977 (Audience Award)

Ales IFF 1980 (Grand Prix, General Audience Award of the Art and Film Association)

Finále Plzeň FF 1990 (Main Award - Ledňáček, to the collection of the normalization films projected)