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At the start of Václav Havel's first term as president of the new Czech Republic in 1993, the filmmaker Pavel Koutecký began shooting material for this film: a project that would keep him and Havel busy for more than a decade. Koutecký is always around: behind the scenes and on the official stage, with Clinton in a jazz club, with the Rolling Stones at the Prague Castle, at the coffin of Havel's deceased wife Olga, in the registry office at his second wedding, at talks with advisors, citizens, political party leaders: shots of close proximity and intimacy, which might make paparazzi envious, now that politicians with pop star appeal are no longer safe from them. Koutecký, who died in an accident, left more than a hundred hours of footage behind. It was up to Miroslav Janek to edit a multi-layered portrait of the style-conscious, charismatic writer and former dissident, who in his political office is now himself confronted by an opposition, and to captivate a moment in time of unique historical upheaval. A quality that distinguishes the documentary film from the tabloid press anyway.

Anna Hoffmann

Production: Film a Socilogie Foundation, Prague; FTV, Prague; Negativ Film Productions, Prague

Camera: Stano Slušný

Editor: Tonička Janková

With: Václav Havel, Jacques Chirac, Michail Gorbatschow

Format: 35mm, Color

Running time: 120 min.

Languages: Czech, English

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur