Riding the wave of international fame that came with his first two feature films, artistically emboldened, Němec turned to his first love – music – to try his hand at an enjoyable audience pleaser. Featuring pop stars Karel Gott and Marta Kubišová (who later became the director’s second wife) in lead roles, with cameos by the two girls from Chytilová’s Daisies and director Lindsay Anderson as traffic policeman, Martyrs of Love is the most perfect embodiment of Němec’s vision of a film world independent of reality. The nearly dialogue-free music comedy about three timid lovers, which combines aesthetics of 1920s silent slapstick cinema with romantic music of the 1960s, cemented the director’s reputation as the kind of unrestrained nonconformist the Communist establishment considered the most dangerous to their ideology.
Even though the film received a special mention at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1967, this playful picture became Němec's last fiction film before leaving for exile several years later.

Original title
Mučedníci lásky
Filmmaker
Jan Němec
Country
Czechoslovakia
Year
1967
Medium
35mm
Length
71’
Language
Czech
Producer
Jan Němec
Production Company
Filmové studio Barrandov
Sales
Národní filmový archív
Writer
Ester Krumbachová, Jan Němec
Cinematography
Miroslav Ondříček
Editor
Miroslav Hájek
Production Design
Olin Bosák
Sound Design
František Fabián
Music
Jan Klusák, Karel Mareš
Cast
Lindsay Anderson, Karel Gott, Jan Klusák, Marta Kubišová, Hana Kuberová, Josef Koníček, Jitka Cerhová, Petr Kopřiva