Remembering Vaclav Havel
This is a remarkable film about a remarkable man. Vaclav Havel was at the forefront of the “velvet revolution” that freed Czechoslovakia from years of repressive communist rule in the Soviet Block. By a huge popular surge he became President of the newly independent country and, soon after, the new Czech Republic.
Havel was given a popular mandate to transform the country and its institutions. On taking his new office, Havel invited his friend, the reputed film maker Pavel Koutecký, to capture the birth and formation of their new nation “from the inside”, shooting anything and everything the film maker considered relevant. It was Havel’s idea of making the Presidency as transparent as possible. To a great extent, this was seat-of-the-pants governance, guided by Havel’s natural instinct and the idealistic maxim to which he returns again and again in the film : “Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred.”
Koutecký had access to every meeting and every move of Havel, including very sensitive ones with his closest group of advisors. Filmed over ten years, this understated, witty and considered documentary gives a fascinating insight into Czech politics and the man who helped shape the history of the new republic.
This truly unique material offers new looks behind the scenes of international politics in the most significant period of modern Czech history, and also into events in a post-totalitarian country during its transition to democracy. Covering a vast range of events from intense international debates, celebrity visits (including those of The Rolling Stones and Bill Clinton) and the routine of day-to-day politics, to unexpected personal tragedy, this is an intimate portrait of a politician and of a man.
Koutecký died in 2006 in an accident, and his friend filmmaker Miroslav Janek spent several years piecing together this engaging multi-layered portrait, which remains both a testimony to a charismatic leader and to an esteemed film maker. The film premiered in Prague in 2008.
Wednesday, January 25 at 7 pm at the Alliance Française de Bangalore Auditorium
Entry free. For further details, contact : 080 40808181