Journey to Rome

Please log in to watch films (restrictions may apply)

  1. Extra

    Journey to Rome

    Cesta do Říma

    Directed by

    Czech Republic, Poland


    100 min

    • Czech


    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.

    Labels & Line Ups


    Václav Hrzina
    Petr Slavík
    Berenika Kohoutová
    Miroslav Donutil
    Johana Švarcová
    Juraj Herz
    Tomasz Mielnik
    Jan Šuster
    Šimon Hájek
    Martin Klusák

    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.



    Tomasz Mielnik

    Tomasz Mielnik


    Tomasz Mielnik (b. 1980, Wrocław, Poland) studied art history at the University of Wrocław. He then moved to Prague where he completed his film directing course at FAMU with the feature JOURNEY TO ROME. During his studies he made several shorts: ON SUNDAY (2008), REMEMBERING MOTHER(2008) and ANONYMOUS (2009). His short documentary CONDUCTOR (2009) came out as a supplement to a monograph on theatre director Jerzy Grotowski. The film that earned him his bachelor’s degree, GIRL 180 (2010), was shown at festivals around the world, including the Molodist IFF in Kiev. In 2013 Mielnik attended a workshop organised by the International Filmmaking Academy headed by Bernardo Bertolucci, Gian Vittorio Baldi and Abbas Kiarostami.