Franticek leaves the institution where he has spent his whole life for the first time and sees the world and his family with a clear and fresh gaze. The tragedy and fragility of human relationships and family bonds seen from the perspective of an idiot, freely adapted from Dostoevsky.
Unlike many contemporary Czech films, Return of the Idiot does not concentrate on politics or formalist experiments. Gedeon is much more interested in the tragedy of human (family) relationships. This film provides a very special look at the subject: family complications are observed by an Idiot, based on the character from Dostoevsky’s classic. Franticek spent his whole life between the four walls of a mental institution. When he heads out into the wide world to visit his family, he sees and experiences everything for the first time. In his innocence, he is willing to love everyone and condemn no one. However his family doesn’t take much notice of him; they are too preoccupied by their own problems, too bound up in their own complicated lives. Franticek is the all-seeing, ultra-sensitive observer of problems around him. With his untarnished gaze, he understands his relatives better than they realise. But he is not able to help anyone, because he can’t take sides; he loves all of them equally. But the question is, does anyone love him? Return of the Idiot is a realistic tragic-comedy reminiscent of Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies. By choosing the perspective of the Idiot, the world we think we know is put into a different perspective and we shall have to revise our criteria for judging the world.
Born in Prag, Sasa Gedeon studies cinema at the Film Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). He directs several shorts before making his first feature film Indiánské léto (1995). In 1999, Gedeon gets international notice with Návrat idiota (1999), a loose adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic ’L’Idiot’. But the director does not seem to have been able to capitalize on this success since he has managed to make only a segment of Visions of Europe (2004) in a decade. —IMDb