Here is a movie in which every moment seems to be smiling at itself. "My Sweet Little Village" tells the story of some ordinary people who live in an ordinary village in Czechoslovakia, and how they quietly triumph over a bureaucrat, who is looking for a summer cottage.
The cottage belongs to a man who is simple in the head, but who has been embraced by the villagers because, in his own way, he is as smart as he needs to be - certainly smarter than the bureaucrat.
The man's name is Otik, and he is raw-boned and gangly, with too many teeth. He works as an assistant to Pavek, a local trucker, who lives in a state of constant exasperation with him, and yet the two of them seem to belong together, like the members of a comedy team. Otik is forever forgetting his instructions and getting things wrong, and Pavek is forever drinking brandy and complaining about him. They are two halves of a whole.
Their story is at the center of Jiri Menzel's "My Sweet Little Village," but there are many other stories in the film, too, and we get a real sense for this village in which everyone knows everyone else's business. Many of the sequences begin in the morning, with Otik and Pavek setting off on foot to the garage and Otik executing a quick little shuffle to fall into step with his exasperated partner.