The upcoming documentary by Karel Vachek, Communism, will be presented at Marseille festival

23. 5. 2016

Author: Filip Šebek

One of the most remarkable Czech documentary directors in post-Velvet Revolution era and the head of FAMU documentary department, Karel Vachek, plans a new “film novel” called Communism. He presents the project himself mid-July at the international co-production platform FIDlab, within the 27th film festival FID Marseille.

Communism is a new film essay by the director Karel Vachek, who himself while continuously changing masks and costumes of Bertold Brecht and Samuel Beckett leads the spectator through a collage of stage-managed pieces of both utopic and period literature, own memories and living pictures of world history. Vachek describes his experience and optics of seeing things from an hotelier's child in a small town through the direct experience with Prague Spring, persecution and return of capitalism to Czechia. Contemporary democracy is according to Vachek under the influence of advertisement. The only person can rule that has enough money and can allow a campaign.

A part of the short description above indicates that the new film is again going to be typical for the work of Vachek. “Karel Vachek is an author whose works are a specific category of Czech cinematography. He proves that through film you can not only think about people and events of contemporary history but also about causes and general movements that make them work. This was what led the Council to acknowledge Vachek’s position and to support the project – more than an image of a future film based on an extensive accompanying text,” says the statement of State Cinematography Fund Council that decided to support Vachek’s project financially.

Visitors of last year’s International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary could see Vachek’s shots from January 1969 that were supposed to be lost and now are supposed to be integrated into Communism. After-occupation speech of Jozef Smrkovský is accompanied with a view on a young man from Plzeň. He is lying in a hospital, severely burnt but still responding. The young man followed the legacy of Jan Palach, and Vachek got to him partisan-style.

Karel Vachek will personally present these and other views from the planned documentary at an international co-production platform FIDlab that will take place July 15 – July 16 within the International Film Festival Marseille. Every year 11 projects are selected at the platform, both documentary and feature films; its purpose is to offer the filmmakers an opportunity to establish contacts with producers, sales agents or possible distributors of their films.

In spite of the fact that movies by professor Vachek are famous over the world, it is difficult to find average television and distribution slots for them. As producers of such a film we eventually seek mostly similarly thinking colleagues and authors. There are not many of these but they exist. You just have to travel and talk a lot – France should be a perfect destination for it,” says Mikuláš Novotný (Background Films), the producer of the film, after the project was substantially supported by Czech TV. The premiere is scheduled for 2018.

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