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Program

Dec 13, 2019 - Jan 10, 2020

Czech Film Night - Velvet Revolution

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, what was a period of non-violent public protests and political changes occurring from November 17 to December 29 1989 in Czechoslovakia. The transition of power ended more than 40 years of the communist rule and restored liberty and democracy in Czechoslovakia. To commemorate this historically important anniversary, the Czech Centre Seoul and the Cinematheque – Seoul Art Cinema are organizing a mini film festival “Czech Film Night – Velvet Revolution” presenting 5 award-winning Czech films, which introduces not only outstanding personalities, who dedicated their lives to fight for freedom and democracy, but also life of common people in the totalitarian system. The screenings will take place every Friday from December 13 to January 10 at 7:30 pm in the Seoul Cinema.

The festival will be opened by David Mrnka’s  historical drama Milada (2017) inspired by a Czech lawyer, politician and women’s rights activist Milada Horáková, who managed to survive torture and imprisonment during the Nazi occupation and finally was executed as the only woman during the political processes in early 1950s. Coming after there will be screened Robert Sedláček’s film describing last months of the life of the Charles University student Jan Palach, who burnt to death on January 16, 1969 at the Wenceslas Square in Prague in protest against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and the passive attitude of the nation. The following film – an exciting thriller made by well-known director Ondřej Trojan, tells a hardly believable but true story about the controversial head of the Czechoslovakian foreign intelligence service Zdeněk Toman. All three mentioned films will be screened for the very first time in Korea. The title Kawasaki’s Rose made by director Jan Hřebejk and screenwriter Petr Jachovský raises many crucial questions as who can judge past mistakes and who can forgive them. The festival will be closed by the film A Prominent Pacient, which was awarded the most prestigious Czech film award Czech Lion in 12 categories including the Best Film. The film captures the life of the first Czechoslovakian president’s son, a diplomat and later minister of foreign affairs Jan Masaryk before the beginning of the World War II.

Each film screening will be preceded by a short lecture. The aim of the festival is not only to introduce crucial moments and outstanding personalities of the Czech history of the 20th century, but also to motivate the audience to think about such  important topics as liberty, democracy or one’s role in the society.

Program:

  • 13.12. Milada
  • 20.12. Jan Palach
  • 27.12. Toman
  • 3.1. Kawasaki's rose
  • 10.1. A Prominent Patient

Milada
Biography / Drama / History
Czech Republic, 2017, 130 min.
Director:
David Mrnka
Cast: Ayelet Zurer, Robert Gant, Vica Kerekes, Jaromír Dulava, Aňa Geislerová, Marián Mitaš

The biographic drama Milada was inspired by the life of the Czech lawyer, politician and women’s rights activist Milada Horáková, who managed to survive torture and imprisonment during the Nazi occupation and finally became the only female victim of a judicial murder during the political processes in early 1950s in Czechoslovakia. The film captures the period from 1930 to 1950 telling a story about a woman, whose moral principles were embedded in her mind so deeply, that she often made decisions based on her conscience rather than heart, even though she put the life of her own or her family in danger. Despite the numerous pleas for clemency sent to the Czechoslovakian president by such personalities as Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill or Eleanor Roosevelt, Milada Horáková was executed on June 27, 1950 and thus became the symbol of the fight for liberty and democracy.

Movie review

Movie trailer

Date: 13.12.2019, 19:30

 

Jan Palach
Biography / Drama / History
Czech Republic / Slovakia, 2018, 124 min.
Director:
Robert Sedláček
Cast: Viktor Zavadil, Zuzana Bydžovská, Denisa Barešová, Kristína Kanátová, Jan Vondráček, Michal Balcar

The historical drama Jan Palach tells a story about a history and political economy student at Charles University, who set himself on fire on January 16, 1969 at the Wenceslas Square in Prague to protest against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and the passive attitude of the nation. Based on available historical resources, the film aims to capture the last couple of months of the life of this university student, who decided to make the utmost sacrifice in order to rouse the nation to the resistance to the occupation and fight for liberty and democracy. The film aims to make the audience think about the reason, why a loving son, a loyal friend and a smart student decided for this radical act. The film shows the relationship with his mother and his girlfriend Helenka, the tumultuous student life in 1968 or the time, which the protagonist spent in the Soviet Union and France. During the whole time the camera is focusing on Jan’s face trying to capture the crucial moment of a decision, that nobody – even none of the closest friends or family members had no idea of. Twenty years later, during the “Palach Week” commemorating the anniversary of his death, the Czechoslovakian public started to protest against the totalitarian system. Non-violent protests culminated in November 1989 by the Velvet Revolution, which led to the fall of the communist regime and restoration of liberty and democracy.

Movie review

Movie trailer

Date: 20.12.2019, 19:30

 

Toman
Drama / History
Czech Republic / Slovakia, 2018, 145 min.
Director:
Ondřej Trojan
Cast: Jiří Macháček, Kateřina Winterová, Aleš Procházka, Stanislav Majer, Jaromír Dulava, Lukáš Latinák, Roman Luknár, Marek Taclík, Radek Holub, Marian Mitaš

A film made by the well-known Czech director Ondřej Trojan is not only an exciting thriller but being based on historical resources and eyewitness accounts, it also reflects real events occurred in Czechoslovakia during the period of the so called Third Republic (1945-1948), when the communist party seized the power in the country. The film tells a hardly believable but true story about the controversial head of the Czechoslovakian foreign intelligence service Zdeněk Toman, who was never talked about, but who significantly influenced the development in the post-war Czechoslovakia. As an unscrupulous businessman and a slick political strategist, Toman was entitled with fund raising for the Communist election campaign. That mission was to be accomplished by fair means or foul and Toman was very skilful at getting money, no matter, if it was for himself, for his family or for the Party. Black marketeering, blackmailing, receiving money from war criminals and their victims were all his common practices. But at the end he and his family had to pay dearly for his career.

Movie trailer

Date: 27.12.2019, 19:30

 

Kawasaki’s Rose
Drama
Czech Republic, 2009, 95 min.
Director:
Jan Hřebejk
Cast: Lenka Vlasáková, Daniela Kolářová, Martin Huba, Milan Mikulčík, Antonín Kratochvíl, Petra Hřebíčková, Ladislav Chudík, Martin Schulz, Anna Šimonová

Renowned psychiatrist Pavel Josek is singled out to receive a "Memory of the Nation" medal for his resistance against the communist regime. However, during the shooting of a documentary about him, there is discovered an evidence, that proves his collaboration with the secret police. He betrayed his principles as a doctor and revealed personal information about artist Bořek, who was a boyfriend of his wife at that time and who was forced to emigrate beause of that. The truth is starting to be revealed and things are different than it was originally thought…

The film made by famous director Jan Hřebejk and screenwriter Petr Jarchovský raises many crucial questions and at the same time brings contradictory answers to these questions. Who can judge the past mistakes and who can forgive them? Can be guilt eliminated by time or by repentance of the culprit? The metaphorical title of the film symbolizes, that life has many different sides and thus can be viewed from different perspectives.
In 2009 the film was awarded two Czech Lions for the Best Supporting Actor and for the Best Supporting Actress and the Best Film Award and the Audience Award at the Finále Plzeň Film Festival.

Movie trailer

Date: 3. 1. 2020, 19:30


A Prominent Patient
Biography / Drama / History
Czech Republic / Slovakia, 2016, 113 min.
Director:
Julius Ševčík
Hrají: Karel Roden, Hanns Zischler, Oldřich Kaiser, Arlz Jover, Jiří Vyorálek, Emília Vášáryová, Eva Herzigová, Martin Hofmann, Zuzana Kronerová, Jiří Ornest

The film captures the life of Jan Masaryk, the son of the first Czechoslovakian president, a diplomat and later minister of foreign affairs, whose death is still shrouded in mystery. He lived an unrestrained life, he loved women and music. Inside his heart there was an ongoing struggle between the free spirit of an eccentric artist and the moral and the duty of a diplomat. The dramatic story focuses on the period just before the World War II. In the 1930s Masaryk’s career as a diplomat was at its height. Masaryk spent most of his time in the UK trying to gain world powers’ sympathy for Czechoslovakia and thus prevent the Nazi occupation.
Nevertheless this man, considered to be a brilliant speaker, entertaining companion enjoying the life, has a dark side too. Due to the responsibility resulting from his position and his name Masaryk is trying to escape and lives an unrestrained life full of alcohol, drugs and self-torment. Suddenly the Czechoslovakian Ambassador breaks contact with his colleagues and friends and for a couple of months disappears from the public life somewhere in America…
On the background of historical events the film shows the thrilling life of a charming but emotionally unstable and self-destructive man and his hopeless fight for the future of the nation.

Movie review

Movie trailer

Date: 10. 1. 2020, 19:30

 

Venue:

Seoul Cinema, 13, Donhwamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Date

From: Dec 13, 2019
To: Jan 10, 2020

Organizer:

Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event


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