UC Berkeley Library

Czechoslovakia

A Trial in Prague.

Documentary profiles the 1952 trial of fourteen Czechoslovak communists, including Rudolf Slansky, former General Secretary of the Party, tried on charges of high treason and espionage. Eleven of the fourteen accused were Jews. Presents interviews with many who were caught up in the events. 1952. 83 min.

Citizen Vaclav Havel Goes on Vacation.

Before he became president of the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel -- playwright, essayist, intellectual -- was a leading dissident, repeatedly jailed by the Communist government. This documentary recreates a little-known episode in the Czechoslovakian dissident's life when he decided to test the boundaries of his totalitarian state by taking an extended vacation, visiting friends all over the country. Written and directed by Jan Novak, Adam Novak. 2006. 77 min.

Czech Dream (Cesky sen)

Documents the largest consumer hoax the Czech Republic has ever seen. Filip Remunda and Vit Klusack, two of Eastern Europe's most promising young documentary filmmakers, set out to explore the psychological and manipulative powers of consumerism by creating an ad campaign for a super store that didn't exist. The advertising campaign includes radio and television ads, posters, flyers with photos of fake Czech Dream products, a promotional song, an internet site, and ads in newspapers and magazines. Will people believe in it and show up for the grand opening?

Old Believers (Staroverci)

Shot over a period of five years, documents the life of a strongly religious community living in the Danube Delta. Time seems to have stopped in this forsaken Romanian village where the Russian emigrants of a minority faith settled during the 17th century. Their descendants were able to preserve not only their original beliefs but also their language while remaining faithful to their ancient rites and customs. A specific, almost meditative rhythm in this place gives a transcendental significance to even the most ordinary everyday tasks. Written and directed by Jana Sevcikova. 2001.

Piemule

During the early 1980's, Czech filmmaker Jana Sevikova spent several years documenting the daily lives and customs of an ethnic group of Czechs living near Timisoara, Romania. The social and work customs of these individuals are much like those of their ancestors who settled in the Romanian highlands over 150 years ago. In returning to the village in 1992, the filmmaker found that little had changed despite the fall of communism. Written and directed by Jana Sevcikova. 1992. 43 min.

Prague Skinheads

Segment one gives excerpts from videos by SAGA, a Sarajevo-based group of filmmakers, from inside the besieged Bosnian capital. The second segment examines ethnic hatred and extreme nationalism in the Czech Republic where neo-Nazi ideas are winning adherents among the young. The final segment reports on the Eyes of the Earth Project which distributes cameras to human rights activists for the documentation of human rights abuses. Segment from the television program Rights & wrongs. Broadcast September 8, 1993. 27 min.

Prague Spring

In 1968 Alexander Dubcek's attempt to liberalize Communist rule in Czechoslovakia and to create "socialism with a human face" resulted in Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague. This program presents both the political detente behind Brezhnev's position and the dissent that was silenced within the Warsaw Pact alliance. Extensive archival footage and contemporary interviews provide insights that reveal the dissent within the Eastern Bloc countries in the 1960's. 29 min.

Private Century

Composed entirely of home movies, still photographs, letters, and diaries dating from the 1920's to the 1960's, the series explores the impact of sweeping historical events: war, economic depression, and government interference, on the private lives of ordinary people. In the midst of political turbulence and social change, they grow up, fall in love, get married, go on vacation just like us. The events of Czechoslovakia during the 20th century provide the historical backdrop, but the problems, pleasures, and pain of the people in each episode are universal.

Red Spring, The Sixties.(Cold War series)

In the Soviet bloc, communist rule stifles ambition and achievement. Soviet defense expenditure cripples economic growth. The young lust for totems of America's youth culture--blue jeans and rock-n-roll. In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek attempts limited reform, but in 1968, Soviet force crushes the Prague Spring. 47 min.

The Artists' Revolution: 10 Days in Prague.

In November, 1989 a group of artists in Prague successfully spearheaded the overthrow of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the nonviolent "velvet revolution"...a revolution fought through images, words and spirit. This film is the inside story of that rebellion as told through interviews with the activists and citizens of Prague. 30 min.
Related web sites:Description from First Cinema Guild catalog

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