Set in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, medical student Eliska (Anna Geislerová) is secretly involved in the resistance movement, lead by her surgeon boyfriend. When the Gestapo moves in, Eliska’s boyfriend flees forcing her to seek refuge in Zelary, a remote mountain village. City-girl, Eliska reluctantly takes on a new identity as Hana, the wife of woodcutter Joza (György Cserhalmi). Slowly Eliska falls in love with country life and much to her surprise also with Joza.

1 Jan 2009 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2015 - 3:38 PM

Zelary is set in a small Czech village, during the Nazi occupation. Medical student, Eliska and her surgeon lover, are exposed as members of the resistance. He flees the country and she escapes to the remote village of Zelary, to the home of a former patient - woodcutter, Joza. To avoid detection, they marry and she becomes Hana. Gradually and not surprisingly, they fall in love.

Zelary is a sprawling, epic story with lush scenery and solid performances. Ana Geislerov is captivating as the emancipated city woman, who must adapt to peasant life and she is equally matched by a stoic, Gyrgy Cserhalmi as Joza. Zelary unfolds as you'd expect for a wartime melodrama, although there are many startling moments. Archetypal characters include embattled housewives, precocious kids, suspicious villagers and drunken soldiers. But Zelary overcomes formula and is a dramatic and engrossing love story.