All of This Belongs to Me
>>> All of This Belongs to Me (Czech Republic)
‘Memories of My Heart’ is an exotic tale of wild Mongolia. It tells of the search for love and of how life without it is as barren as the Mongolian steppe and as empty as the blue sky the stretches out above it. It is also about how love does not find you, it is you who have to go after love. It is about coming to terms with the past, breaking the cycle of family misfortune, and the search for one’s own place in the sun.
Dzaya leaves the Mongolian steppe she grew up in and moves to the capital city Ulan Bator. She is running away from her family and she hopes that in a different place she will be able to find the kind of love that she’s been missing from her life so far. Dzaya is half Mongolian and half Chinese, but she has no idea why is mixed like this (both parents she grew up with are Mongolian). Only when she leaves her family does she begin to discover what her real origin is. The roots of her outcast status are revealed through flashbacks to her childhood, through the initiatory experiences she shares with her grandmother, who is endowed with magical skills, and through the new encounters she has in Ulan Bator. And she looks for love in different ways – through her first relationship, with a young man named Byamchu, through a shocking incestuous experience she has with Mergen, who is Chinese, through life on the street and in her aunt’s brothel, where she is forced by her circumstances to work. But it is finally through motherhood that she finds love. And when she goes back to the steppe with her daughter Dolgorma she is able to free family and herself from the vicious cycle of family misfortune. Unlike her mother, she is able to fight for love. And she understands that it was by being unable to go after love that her mother ultimately destroyed her family.
‘Memories of My Heart’ is an adaptation of the novel Paměť mojí babičce (All This Belongs to Me) by Petra Hůlová, one of the most prize-winning novels in contemporary Czech literature. In the Czech Republic it won the prize for debut of the year and book of the year. It has been translated into many other languages. In 2009 it was also published in English
Irena Hejdová was born in 1977 in Prague, Czech Republic where she grew up. In 1998, after graduating Faculty of Humanities at Prague Charles University she started studying scriptwriting and dramaturgy at Prague Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). Irena graduated with masters degree in 2005. During her studies she won several prizes for her school scripts.
After the studies she won the Sazka award, the main Czech prize for non-realized scripts, with her final school script Deti noci (Night Owls). Deti noci was shoot by Negativ film production and Michaela Pavlatová as a director. The film premiered in 2008. On world premiere in the main competition of IFF Karlovy Vary it won two best acting awards. In autumn 2008 the film came to Czech distribution, was screened on several festivals, in Pusan, Cottbus or in Zittau where it won the main prize. Bachelor degree school script Nohama nahoru (Upside Down) won the prize RWE and Barrandov Studio award, but wasn´t realized yet.
After graduating Irena started to work as a film journalist and film critic – from 2005 to 2008 she worked in online news Aktualne.cz, in 2009 she worked in newspaper Hospodářské noviny, in october 2009 she is starting to work in Týden magazine. She is still working on either her own scripts or as a dramaturgist on others, for example the Czech film debut Zoufalci (Dreamers) by director Jitka Rudolfova, which will be premiered on autumn 2009.
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