The impulse for the making of this documentary was a 30-year-old amateur film from the life of the Junák organisation of Czech Scouts that was found in a remarkably good condition. The director, a former member of the troop, who had the identity card no.021515, decided to find out what happened to his childhood friends. 35 years after the last camp, he decided to invite all the former participants to the original campsite near the Eliáš weir on the Oslava river, build a camp and live the Scout life for several days, trying out various skills and games. Once again they wear Scout uniforms and, in compliance with the Junák rule - to always tell the truth - tell each other the truth about their lives... There is a top medical doctor, an athlete, a summer film school director, Communist army political leaders and the homeless. We can follow the history of this country through the lives of boys from a little Moravian town.
God's Stone Quarry (One Year In North Bohemia)
"For someone, it's Gott, for another, it's Satan. I put sugar in my coffee. Each has his own truths, even the crystalline rock in the Krušné Hory mountains. The buzzard snatched the young hare and the spider lies in wait for the fly. Bulls will end up in the goulash. The sportsman wants to win, the horse wants to win, vineyard farmers want to win, and President Klaus wants to win. I'll tell on the birds in the heavens, but the energy industry must always remain a serious issue. You let someone into your home, you don't even know who they are, and they cause you harm. The devil manipulates people, but crystalline rock is everlasting." God's Stone Quarry is similar in form to Rychlík's older film, One Year, which focused on people long settled in the Horňácko region straddling the Moravian-Slovak border. At first sight, the interconnectedness of the Carpathian highlanders' lifestyle, culture, and economy with their environment, their respect for nature and the natural and divine orders of the world vastly differ from the lives of the people inhabiting Northern Bohemia's "lunar" landscape. But human dreams and desires are the same everywhere, even in a region which seems to have been written off. The film takes us on a search for happiness in a hapless land.
Written for Prague Spring, Opus No. 3
Opus Three - The final part of Pavel Koutecký's trilogy of Prague Spring is made up of two compositions specially created for the festival - Sylvie Bodorová's oratorium Judas Maccabeus, with texts from the Old Testament, and Peter Graham's Subida. The first was performed in St. Vitus' Cathedral at Prague Castle, the second in an old factory in the Karlin district of Prague. The first is a large-scale work, classical in conception, with every detail annotated in the score; the second is a smaller-scale and highly experimental piece allowing the players considerable freedom of interpretation. Both, however, are very far removed from the usual concert repertoire and style of playing. The heroes of the film are without doubt the composers, who first have to put their musical vision on paper, then explain it to the conductor, players and singers. The film crew was present at virtually every stage of the demanding rehearsal process. Following the tragic death of Pavel Koutecký last year, the film was completed by director Jaroslav Hovorka.
Shaking the Bones
The film focuses on the way of a human being towards his dream. It shows a unique performance of a multiple world champion in riding the historic high bike, Josef Zimovčák. Last year he covered the track of the Tour de France. After a fall, he successfully finished the race with a broken rib, cracked shoulder bone, broken jaw, without several teeth and with many abrasions. The film covers the time span starting with his rehabilitation and his decision to cover the track of Giro d´ Italia in 2006. Josef Zimovčák would have been the first person that might have managed it, though he lost one eye in an accident in his childhood. The point is not only the sports performance itself. It is about a human being in an absolutely peak situation, in a unique situation worldwide which tests all his physical and mental capacities. It is about a human struggle that transcends itself. It reflects "an eternal aspect" of a human being that makes us fight with our own limits, overcome rooted norms and break clichés. After 3.300 kilometres, the ride turned into a tragedy. In the penultimate stage, Josef Zimovčák was 226 kilometres far from his destination - Milan. Forty kilometres from the ruck of cyclists the tragedy happened. A car driven by a member of the supporting team had a crash with a German motor-biker who died. Josef Zimovčák immediately decided to give up and terminated the race. He did not give precedence to his dream over a human life and over the tragedy of his friend.
It's Spring in Prague Every Year/It's the Prague Spring Every Year, Opus No. 1
Two clarinet players, one Czech and one Israeli, first sing to one another over the phone and then send each other emails with photographs of their concert gowns. Several days prior to their performance, they meet and discover that each had been rehearsing a different version of the composition. Following this new musical interplay is one of the plot lines in this documentary film, which tries to capture the backstage of the Prague Spring music festival, an important festival institution. The director does not show the individual performances but represents them, offers experiences of specific situations, and images of the creative work. The film is among the work by Koutecký's that is driven by an admiration for music and architecture, permanent and indestructible forms of art. The fingers of the clarinet players in an erotic musical confrontation. Virtuosity hides behind the energy of the rehearsals, captured in the film amidst the festival's preparations. Smaller events thus combine to form a model of the music festival's polysemous performance space, which the camera, in the present and in dialogue, co-creates as a cultural, political, and symbolic act in one. Institution is a hierarchy, accompanied by the attributes of control and subordination. All the musicians identify with this. They are united by their passion for music, and yet the invisible tensions among them become the plotline of what takes place. Documenting an institution means choosing and selecting, and Koutecký presents in the film those moments where the work is emerging, the feelings and conduct related to these moments, and the entire drama of the rehearsals, in which the sphere of action is transmitted from the psyche of the musicians to the musical tones. The director's comments on the comical effects that the battle over music also produces are made with tact and restraint. What he is attempting is to capture the creative process, and he does not prevail on the viewer to emotionally experience the music presented in the film. On the contrary, using situational images, hidden behind the concerts, he reveals the individuality of the musicians who contribute to the festival's universal value.
Black Hearts (…the Earth isn’t Round)
Four Roma families, four lives in four countries during four seasons through the eyes of four people. This is the third of a series of year-long observational documentary films by Břetislav Rychlík that explores human communities. After his internationally recognized films One Year (about the lives of seven elderly people from the highland villages and secluded dwellings of the Horňácko Region who were born in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and God's Quarry (one year in North Bohemia), the two directors, Monika Rychlíková and Břetislav Rychlík, and two photographers, Jindřich Štreit and Marie Zachovalová, present their joint view of four Roma families. The film was made from December 2006 to December 2007 in the following locations: a Roma settlement in Slovakia; a traditional Roma village community in Hungary; an industrial area in Poland, and a suburban Roma community in the Czech Republic. Roma museums and organizations from all Visegrad countries cooperated during the development of this film and during the selection of the protagonists.
...Those Are Tough Memories
Documentary film on the holocaust of Romanies in the Czech lands made for the permament exhibition of the Museum of Romany Culture in Brno. The film draws from archive sources, which are accompanied by testimonies givenby witnesses of the Romany holocaust.
Under the Roof?
The work of the ombudsman is illustrated in the case of 20 Romany families from the town of Hrušov who were affected by the floods in 1997 and still lived in 2001 in damp flood-damaged flats.
Seeking the Wisdom of Old Age
On the basis of specific experiences of a few elderly people, the film reveals various forms of age and tries to give an integrating view of them.
Watchman of the Lost Heron
The story of a newly construated baroque organ in Humpolec that Czech-American Stanislav Kotyza bought for his native town. He managed to inspire all entrepreneurs and companies from the town and its surrounding who contributed to the general repairs of the dilapidaetd church. This is a sory of patronage, culture and the ability to view wealth as a gift that must be returned to others. The watchman of the lost heron is Stanislav Kotyza, who in his youth caught and took care of a tame heron.
602 00 Brno