Journey to Rome

Not available for screening anymore

Journey to Rome (Cesta do Říma)

Directed by Tomasz Mielnik

  • Czech Republic, Poland 2015; 100 min
  • Original version: Czech
  • Genre: Drama

  • Karlovy Vary IFF


There are as many stories in the world as there are people, and Vašek, a timid guard at a gallery who becomes a reluctant painting thief, hears plenty of them on his train trip to Rome. This multilevel comedy road movie (on a train) and quest for the meaning of life is director Tomasz Mielnik’s feature debut.

Director's Statement

Seven years ago I wrote a dissertation about the self-portraits of a baroque painter Michael Leopold Willmann. There are frescoes of St. Joseph in the chapelle in Krzeszow. Willman was not really interested in the biblical story but he wanted to portrait the people of their time. He tried to show she variety of different types of figures. The feeling of colorfulness and interchanging characters remained in me for a long time. I rather responded to the technique and the shades of color than the story or the ideological message of the frescoes. Hence, when I think of the script of JOURNEY TO ROME, I see the frescoes of appearing and vanishing characters; painted with intensity.

Then the story got two layers. On the surface it is an adventure of a smuggler, underneath its a story of modern man seeking salvation in the spiritual heart of Europe - Rome. Thats why it’s structure might maybe remind of the Divine Comedy. Visualy it should also contain two levels - using some of Melville and Hitchock on one side (back projections, wardrobe, colours), but reminding of italian cinematography of the sixties on the other side. This film is a frescoe to me. Frescoe of a lonely modern man, who is fatigue and uninterested, but decides for the last time to go out and search for his spirituality.



    Mikuláš Novotný