A Czech fighter squadron flee the Nazis to fight with the RAF in the Battle of Britain. During that time, two of them fall for the same woman, testing their friendship - but the real trials are still to come, as they are imprisoned as "enemies of the people" when they return to their (now Communist) country after the War.
Jan Sverak's Kolya charmed the Academy to win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1997. This pan-European follow-up is the story of a Czech fighter squadron fleeing their Nazi-occupied country to fly with the RAF in the Battle Of Britain, only for the survivors to be imprisoned as 'enemies of the people' by the Communist regime on their return home.
Randomly jumping between the English airfields and the Czech labour camp, the incredulous love triangle between reckless young buck Hadek, his wizened father-figure Vetchy and a frumpy Fitzgerald provides the main drive for the plot, which just lurches from one horribly contrived scene to the next. The recreated battle scenes become boring very quickly.
It drips with prestige and worthiness, but it's a hollow spectacle, taking its audience for granted to an unforgivable degree.