A portrait of the Czech band Mňága a Žďorp.
Citizen Havel Goes on Vacation
This 80-minute documentary recreates a trip across Czechoslovakia. Václav Havel took the trip in 1985 when he was still the country's most prominent dissident. In the course of one week, he was twice thrown into jail for 48 hours of preventive detention and followed by over 300 plainclothed policemen, who would helpfully point out to him the right way whenever he got lost. Contrasted with the authentic Czech TV news of the period (the harvest was going swimmingly), the stories of Havel and his dissident hosts show that you can live a great life even under the staggering pressure of a totalitarian juggernaut. A Czech emigree in Chicago, the writer and screenwriter Jan Novák, who had been awarded the Magnesia Litera prize for a documentary novel OK So Far, created and produced this film.
Citizen Havel Is Rolling Barrels
In 1974, the then banned playwright Václav Havel found a job as a brewery hand so that he would not be accused of social parasitism. He ended up rolling barrels and filtering beer for nearly a year even though he drove a Mercedes to work. His new experiences, described in the film by Arnošt Šerkézy, his boxer buddy from the lager cellar, started him on a new way of writing. He dashed off his first autobiographical - and arguably his best - play, Audience, in a single night. The film relates stories of the genesis, the productions and the cultural reverberations of Havel’s influential one-act.