Ben Oliver

Banner image for Kolya


I’ll be as hot-blooded as any Russian Don Juan!
25 February 2024

A talented musician (Zdenek Sverák) gets married for money to help get someone a visa and get himself out of a financial hole. When the woman unexpectedly leaves the country he’s lumped with her 5-year-old-son Kolya to look after.

I went to see Kolya at the Broomhall Community Cinema1 and its sweet, slightly cheeky, warm tone is a great fit for a lesser-known crowd pleaser. It’s got that Cinema Paradiso vibe but crossed with an offbeat Czech sense of humour. There’s a tinge of sauciness as our protagonist shags his way round the town but there’s a kind of innocence to it that’s quite endearing.

It takes place in late 1980s Prague just before the revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, and a major theme is the tension between the Czechs and the Russians - Kolya himself is a Russian kid who doesn’t speak any Czech and struggles to understand the locals. Having watched The Fireman’s Ball2 a few years ago it was really interesting to get some perspective from the tail-end of the same period in history.

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