(director/writer: Frantisek Vlacil; screenwriter: Pavel Kopta; cinematographer: Jan Curik; editor: Miroslav Hájek; music: Zdenek Liska; cast: Katerina Irmanovová (Susanne), Anna Pitasová (Michal’s Mother), Vjaceslav Irmanov (Michal’s Father), Karel Smyczek (Michal), Václav (Vjačeslav) Irmanov (Martin, the painter); Gustav Püttjer (old Kohout); Hans Peter Reinecke (Ulli), František Kovářík (old pigeon fancier), Ladislav Fialka (fool); Jiří Patočka (French worker), Vladimír Erlebach (Pierre); Petr and Pavel Kocandové (Twins); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Antonín Bedřich; Facets Video; 1960-Czechoslovakia-in Czech with English subtitles)

A fine example of early Czech New Wave.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The debut feature of the talented Czech director Frantisek Vlacil(“The Valley of the Bees”) is a quality, sparse, slow-going lyrical experimental film, in the manner of a fable, done in glorious black and white. It’s co-written by Vlacil and Pavel Kopta.

It tells of the wheel-chair bound adolescent, the hi-rise dwelling Prague resident Michal (Karel Smyczek), who insensitively shot down a carrier pigeon with his air-gun and with his father’s (Vjaceslav Irmanov) help nurses it back to health. Martin (Václav Irmanov), the boy’s neighbor, is an artist who was sketching the carrier pigeon, coming from Belgium, before it was shot down and completes the sketch to give to the boy as a reminder of what he has done and thereby gets him to track down the route the pigeon was taking so after the bird is restored to health he can be returned to its rightful owner.

Meanwhile the young blonde Susanne (Katerina Irmanovová ), the crushed owner of the carrier pigeon, is living as a free-spirit on the German island of Fehmarn, in the Baltics.

The White Dove is a fine example of early Czech New Wave. It’s a pic about freedom, that features metaphor over literalism and powerfully tell its fable with images over dialogue.

The White Dove Poster