Starting May 1, Doc Alliance Films will present Private Century, an 8-part series from one of the Czech Republic’s prominent documentary filmmakers, Jan Šikl. The political and social upheavals of twentieth-century Czechoslovakia—war and occupation, the twin specters of Nazism and Communism, the Velvet Revolution—have never been more intimately rendered than in Private Century. Composed entirely of family home movies, still photographs, letters, and diaries dating from the 1920s to the 1960s, the series explores how sweeping historical events transform the private lives of ordinary people, and how small domestic pleasures can crystallize into profound and enduring memories.
On May 1 & 2, you can stream two films from Private Century, King of Velichovky and Statuary of Granddad Vinda, for free!
KING OF VELICHOVKY
Czech Republic 2005, 52 min
D: Jan Šikl
King of Velichovky is an authentic story of Karel Seisser who lived in Velichovky on the Czech-German border in 1930s and 40s. Karel Seisser was a farmer by heart and soul. He owned fields, woods and farmland, reinvesting his money back into the estate. He also knew how to enjoy life: he kept horses for pleasure and made car trips to Prague or Berlin... His life in Velichovky was for him a dream come true. His wife and three daughters: Lila, Edita and Ria, lived happy lives as well. Each of them married according to her wishes. Lila married a Czech doctor, Ria a German clerk, and Edita a German general. Velichovky is situated in the Sudetenland and the Seissers were Germans. Everything in their lives was half Czech and half German. None of them had any problems with that. Until the end of the war. The whole family was deported to Germany.
STATUARY OF GRANDDAD VINDA
Czech Republic 2006, 52 min
D: Jan Šikl
Statuary of Granddad Vinda is a story of sculptor Vincenc Havel who lived in the Opava region of north Moravia in the 1950s. His film memories are a set of images that nicely depict this interesting personality, which is firmly anchored in the milieu of 1950s. Vincenc was a nonconformist and eccentric who could not get along with anybody and who was always fighting with everyone. He was a sculptor. At the beginning of tje 1950s, he made a sculpture of Klement Gottwald. Besides recognition by the state, the commission also raised envy. Therefore he retired into his house where he also built his studio. His house served him as a fort against the outside world. He was equally uncompromising in the upbringing of his daughter. The discrepancies that had originated in this relationship were a heavy burden for him later on. His whole life was a fight for recognition he would never receive.