Tracing a three-legged dog and biped director on a journey through the Czech present and Czechoslovak past: the four-year-old Edvard Beneš saves the lives of his parents, the sixty-year-old Václav Klaus plays and does not play tennis, a statue bangs its head against the wall. People fight in ketchup and bury their dogs. A collapsed house, a house made of cannabis and a millionaire's villa. Polar bears, ants, falcons and foxes. Songs of Milan Záviš Smrčka. The world according to Karel Vachek.
The New Hyperion, or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
A real and unfinished story lived and performed by philosophers and heads of states and churches, artists and party secretariats, scientists and ministers of federal and republic governments, retirees and prisoners, unionists and officers, dissidents and gray zone, preachers and armed forces, both right-wing and left-wing radicals, citizens, and their MP's during the first free election in Czechoslovakia in 1990: Vachek's theater of the world... The first installment in Vachek's tetralogy Little Capitalist (New Hyperion, or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, 1992; What Is to Be Done? A Journey from Prague to Cesky Krumlov or How I Formed a New Government, 1996; Bohemia Docta, or The Labyrinth of the World and the Lust-house of the Heart (a Divine Comedy), 2000; Who Will Watch the Watchmen? Dalibor Or The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, 2002), an original survey of Czech politics, science and culture in the 1990s and at the turn of the millennium.
March 1968. The film captures the two weeks prior to the election of a new president after A. Novotný had stepped down.
Who Will Guard the Guard? Dalibor or The Key to Uncle Tom's Cottage
The fourth and final part of the documentary tetralogy Little Capitalist that mirrors the ups and downs of post-revolution Czech society. Stage director J.A. Pitínský leads rehearsals of Bedřich Smetana's opera Dalibor at the National Theatre. A parallel staging of Dalibor is simultaneously carried out by director Karel Vachek who brings various guests - artists, scientists, intellectuals or political activists - into the theatre. Against the backdrop of Smetana's music that, according to Vachek, has mystical qualities, and inside a building that embodies a number of national desires and myths, we hear stories of individuals who have in various contexts stood up against official power and law.
What Is to Be Done? (A Journey from Prague to Cesky Krumlov or How I Formed a New Government)
In this monumental social-philosophic essay, director Karel Vachek follows up on his previous work. This time Vachek enters the film and, along with his assistant Luboš, becomes an active organizer and author of the action on the screen. In this way he reaches the boundaries of a genre in which a documentary film is not a real reflection of reality, but the result of a specific artistic creation. The work originates by an interaction between the film team and the film reality as well as by the reorganization of the footage new units. The second line of the film consists of conversations among several Czech scholars who are on a bus to Český Krumlov.
Bohemia Docta or The Labyrinth of the World and the Lusthaus of the Heart (A Divine Comedy)
The portrait of Czech "national character and soul" is based on major works from Czech and world culture as well as the large cycle "Slavic Epopee" by Alphonse Mucha. It is the third part of Karel Vachek's tetralogy Little Capitalist, a reflection on the social and spiritual processes taking place in Czech culture. The film raises questions about the future of Czech society as well as individual lives.
This film starts with mischief-making, it goes to criticism, a type of criticism approached in a typically mischievous way... The film points out the causes of folklore profanation, discusses fake folklore, partial industrialization of folklore, etc.
Obscurantist and His Lineage or The Pyramids' Tearful Valleys
Karel Vachek’s latest documentary essay deals with the fine line between an internal belief in God and institutionalized religion. At the same time it brings up the need for a healthy sense of skepticism and the benefit of not believing in anything that advertises itself as certain. The filmmaker sets out for the USA, Japan, Great Britain, Poland, and the Balkans in his sometimes amusing investigation of spiritual substitutes, such as esoteric “teachings” or various fraudulent and magical practices. In addition to a Czech “prefab” family, who describe the carryings-on of their poltergeist, well-known mystery buffs appear in the film: Erich von Däniken, Raymond Moody Jr., and Ivan Mackerl. Director Vachek, however, uses no irony or ridicule, and although his position of skepticism in the film is clear, he is quick to point out surprising correspondences between the newest scientific hypotheses and the most ancient religious texts.