Lidice - a 2011 Czech film drama produced by Adam Dvořák, directed by Petr Nikolaev with the support of Alice Nellis and based on the screenplay by Zdenek Mahler, tells the story of the massacre and complete destruction of the Czech village “Lidice” that took place during the Second World War as part of the Nazi atrocities in Europe.
On June 10, 1942, the Czech village “Lidice” in Central Bohemia was razed by Nazi forces in retaliation for the alleged preparation of the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich by the inhabitants of Lidice. All 173 men over 16 years in the village were executed; women were transported to the concentration camp at Ravensbrück, and children were taken to the Chełmno extermination camp, where the majority of them were subsequently gassed. Only 153 women and 17 children survived the massacre.
The film is presented as a true story set during World War II. With the Nazi takeover of Europe underway, the Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich arrives in Prague and his underlings begin enforcing his authority in the towns and villages across the occupied country. In Lidice, the film's main protagonist, František Šíma, is sent to prison following a family dispute that results in the accidental death of one of his sons. During Šíma's incarceration, one of the other villagers, Václav Fiala, strings along his mistress with lies about his bravery as a resistance fighter against the Germans. After Heydrich is assassinated, the Gestapo investigation uncovers a letter written by Fiala to his mistress describing his supposed heroism. The unfortunate letter triggers the total destruction of Lidice and leads to mass executions and deportations of all its citizens. Throughout the atrocities, Šíma remains in jail, where news of what has happened is kept from him. On his release, he returns to Lidice where he finds that his home village has been erased from the ground.
Every European country has its bleak and dramatic stories from World War Two. Some are more known than the others, some are being told for the first time. Recent years have seen the revelation of the massacres in Katyn in Poland, this film, similarly, recounts the dark episode of the Czechoslovak people during the Second World War. Lidice became the only officially recognized genocide of the Second World War. The complete liquidation and destruction of the Czech town Lidice and its inhabitants, which took place as retaliation for supposed links of some of its residents to the assassination of Heydrich, launched the brutal campaign for the complete seizure of Czechoslovakia by Nazi military.
The arresting and evocative cinematography and musical score combine to create a haunting atmosphere and tension as the relationship between the Czechs and Nazis goes from relatively calm and peaceful to murderous bedlam. As a film about ordinary people and their intermingling lives, Lidice will leave you feeling genuinely moved.
Karel Roden : Šíma
Zuzana Fialová : Marie Vaňková
Zuzana Bydžovská : Šímová
Roman Luknár : Vlček
Ondřej Novák Karel : Šíma
Veronika Kubařová : Anička
Norbert Lichý : starosta
Jan Budař safecracker : Petiška
Václav Jiráček : young Horák
Director : Petr Nikolaev
Running Time : 118 minutes
Country : Czech Republic, Poland
Year : 2011