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Based on the only extensive prose work by the surrealist painter Josef Capek, Shades of Fern most resembles the philosophical fairy tales and fables of Josef’s older brother, the legendary Czech novelist and playwright Karel Capek. Two young poachers, more boys than men, kill a gamekeeper when they are caught illegally hunting. Panicked, they retreat into a forest that grows steadily more forbidding and deadly as their fear for the future—and guilt over their action—mounts. Loosely based on hundreds of oral folk tales and legends that haunt the woods of Czechoslovakia, Vlácil’s contemporary updating artistically underscores the relationship between man and nature, crime and punishment, isolation and society, and guilt and memory.

  1. František Vláčil


Top Billed Cast

  1. Marek Probosz

    Marek Probosz

    Ruda Aksamit

  2. Zbigniew Suszyński

    Vašek Kala

  3. Miroslav Macháček

    Miroslav Macháček

    Keeper / vagabond / beggar

  4. František Peterka

    František Peterka

    Father Aksamit

  5. Josef Patočka

    Josef Patočka


Full Cast & Crew

Shades of Fern


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Original Title Stín kapradiny

Status Released

Release Information

  • January 1, 1986


Original Language Czech

Runtime 1h 30m

Budget -

Revenue -



Content Score


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