Zelary (2004)



Critic Consensus: Zelary is a satisfyingly old-fashioned romance with an epic sweep.

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Movie Info

A man form a rural mountain area is brought to the hospital with serious injuries and desperately needs a transfusion. Eliska is the only one with the same blood type. Her blood saves his life, and a connection is formed between the two of them that becomes an extraordinarily strong relationship.
R (for violence and some sexual content)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Anna Geislerová
as Eliska/Hana
Jaroslav Dusek
as Teacher
Ivan Trojan
as Richard
Jan Hrusinsky
as Slavek
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Critic Reviews for Zelary

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (18)

The story is as basic as a peasant meal -- and just as hearty.

December 2, 2004
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Sometimes transcends its predictability. But at two and a half hours, 'sometimes' isn't really often enough.

November 19, 2004
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Humble, heartwarming storytelling with good acting and lush visuals.

Full Review… | October 29, 2004
Boston Globe
Top Critic

See it as a war romance, and you'll like it.

Full Review… | October 22, 2004
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Trojan's direction is capable, and Asen Sopov's dark-hued cinematography is even better than that. The only thing missing is an appreciation for drama that does more than deliver the expected.

Full Review… | October 15, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

[Resembles] something like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

October 15, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Zelary


Beautiful cinematography, good acting, and a very good screenplay. The disparate entry of several sub-texts here and there are confusing at times. Worth watching.

bill kuhlman
bill kuhlman

Zelary Bravo! Beautifully filmed love story that invites you inside the homes and lives of the good people of Zelary during WWII. This is more than the story of a city girl forced into hiding in a remote mountain community in order to save herself from the Gestapo. Here in this picturesque mountain region, the filmmaker introduces us to endearing characters, heros and some villains too and reminds us, I think, that the human condition is a common thread that connects us all, regardless of who we are, where we live or what dogma/doctrine we are running toward or away from. Visually a work of art and certainly the best looking film that I've seen in ages. Pappy Bob's pedestrian opinion: A simple, well-told, universally interesting tale complimented by exquisite cinematography.

Bob Hartman
Bob Hartman

From the Czech Republic came Zelary a masterful war drama showing heart-breaking scenes, no wonder it was nominated for best Foreign Language movie in 2004.The story was about a young medical student Eliska, who was a member of the Czech resistance during WWII. When the Gestapo captured one of her friends, she must hide and went with Joza to the mountains, a man she saved his life by giving him a blood transfusion. As part of her new identity, she must marry Joza, to be accepted in the village.The story showed her adaptation in this beautiful mountain village, and her growing attachment and love she felt for Joza..Zelary showed beautiful cinematography, marvelous music and excellent directing and great acting of Czech actors.

Daisy  Maduro
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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