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Island of Freedom

A short film about love and freedom. It’s 1981 in communist Czechoslovakia and a young man named Jindřich (Jiří Mádl) surprisingly meets his childhood love Eva (Judit Bárdos) on board of a charter flight to Cuba. They immediately strike up a conversation and with every answer, with every glimpse or unintended touch, the old bond comes alive again. Little do they know, that soon, they will be facing what might be the most difficult decision of their lives.

  • Petr Januschka
  • Petr Januschka
  • František eF. Horvát
  • Jiří Mádl
    Key Cast
  • Judit Bárdos
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Romance, Drama
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    Czech Republic
  • Country of Filming:
    Czech Republic
  • Language:
    Czech, Slovak
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Tomas Bata University in Zlin
Director Biography - Petr Januschka

He graduated with a bachelor's and then a master's degree in Theory and Practice of Audiovisual Production (specialization in scriptwriting and directing) at the Audiovisual Arts Studio at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, where he is currently continuing his PhD studies. During his studies in Zlín, he made the short films Eli, Eli (2016), the documentaries The Shapes of Things Past (2016) and How I Didn't Find America (2018), and co-directed the documentary The Department Store (2017) about Zlín's (and the last Czech) Prior, which had not yet undergone reconstruction. The short film Island of Freedom (2022) is part of his dissertation project. He is currently working on commercials for production companies Zeroin and IS Produkce.

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Director Statement

When I think about the thematic boundaries of my film, I don't want to limit myself to (e)migration, although it is a socially vibrant and essential topic. It certainly makes sense, given today's debates about people on the run, to remember that it was not long ago that we too fled our homeland by the thousands. But this relatively banal moral admonition is not the film's main message. It's a romantic and its theme is love – or rather, its relationship to freedom. Jindřich arrives on the plane with a longing for external freedom, and yet he unintentionally encounters another kind of freedom. One such, that doesn't need infinite horizons and can exist anywhere. The fact that Jindřich ultimately chooses Eva the film does not present as a happy ending, which is also suggested by the final defile of the other passengers – the socialist reality in which the heroes remain. The ending only establishes that Jindřich has given a chance to another experience of freedom – instead of freedom in something, freedom in someone.