CITIZEN HAVEL IS ROLLING BARRELS

OBČAN HAVEL PŘIKULUJE

By Jan NOVÁK, Adam NOVÁK

JAKUBISKO FILM - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2009

„Thriller about love for beer“
Filmmakers go back into the past in order to render the genesis of Vaclav Havel’s famous one-act play Audience. At the same time, they introduce the viewer to the paradoxes of the very odd world of the Czechoslovak political normalization.

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • CZECH REPUBLIC
    • Languages
    • CZECH
    • Duration
    • 72 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jan NOVÁK, Adam NOVÁK
    • Synopsis
    • In 1974, Václav Havel was a playwright in danger of being declared a “social parasite” by the neo-Stalinist regime of Gustav Husák. His plays had been banned and, in the Czechoslovak Socialist
      Republic of that time, you could go to prison if you did not have a stamp in the employment box of
      your Citizen Identification passport. Havel solved the problem by finding a job as a brewery hand. For
      nearly a year, he rolled barrels in the basement of a regional brewery in Trutnov and the experience
      profoundly changed his writing.
      The documentary shows the world of the brewery as well as several of Havel’s former coworkers who
      had inspired his Audience. It also maps out the circumstances of a clandestine recording of the play,
      featuring Havel and Pavel Landovsky, which quickly resonated through the entire society and bore
      strange fruit – for example, the biggest star of the Czech film of those days, Jirina Bohdalova, had a
      doctor friend of hers cut her lip, so that she would not have to denounce Havel on television on account
      of her swollen face...
      The film also presents an abridged version of the play itself in the form of a collage, woven from archival
      strands, the famous audio rendering of the piece by Havel and Landovsky, photographs, and
      various performances of the Audience from around the world.
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