Slovak Film Institute recently released a "70s Slovakia film series" DVD package, presently including 11 films. This film is the third one in the package, as I have been looking for Stefan Uher's films and fail, so I can hardly wait to watch it at first. Stefan Uher, known as one of briliant directors in the Czech New Wave, and one of his works "The Sun in a Net" is considered to be the opening chapter of the Czech New Wave. But most of his works have been buried under the ground for a long period and little-known, so very rare. I am looking for them in a long time and have not found it. "If I had a gun" it is the first one of his works i have watched.
This film is little actor Vlado's revolt inwardly in the face of war, the desire of having a gun from the very beginning of film had been lingering in the minds of Vlado, as Vlado's catapult shot was useless for wild ducks, so resulted in the laughing of his little companions, and then wild ducks were laid down by a shotgun. but the desire came true accidentally in World War II when the Germans entered into the town. The German soldiers strictly prohibited possession of guns at home, Vlado's selfish uncle hid the gun in Vlado's home and secretly paid for his safe keeping, in order to avoid trouble. Vlado is a clever and naughty 12-year-old boy, often has many interesting ideas or practical jokes, somewhat like Tom Sawyer. He and little partners discussed the Jewish circumcision, or even peeped at a woman taking a bath. Vlado also likes to show off in front of his little partners, always would like to become a hero. and what's more, he is the kind-hearted, full of righteousness.In Vlado's mind, the limit between his imagination and the real world is very vague, so from time to time his interesting imagines are insected in the film. His imagination totally reflects his beautiful desire, but cruel reality always runs in the opposite direction. He hoped to kill all of those Germans by that gun, but did not have enough courage all along. after going through those process that coming across with the Soviet Union partisan, his little sister's dead, and lame father was looked as a thief by his uncle so that nearly hanged himself, Vlado also witnessed the Germans' arbitrariness and cruel in the hometown, his young and naive heroism leaped up gradually in the heart. at last, when the Germans was fail in this war and got ready to leave, he finally chose to fire a fatal shot to German Officer which he hated most by his gun.
after the experience like dream also like verity, Vlado grew up and be more sensible to know how to take care of parents and help them to do household. As his mother said: "your father before said that the war has too bad effects for the children, but our child is better and better." the film ends with Germans' withdrawal of the failure, Czechoslovakia's celebration of victory. This is a serious but innocent tragicomedy to show the repression and evil of war in naughty children's lives, and give invaders a powerful shot in the most exciting way. what a great Works!