52 min


Profile: Jan Kaplický

Profil: Jan Kaplický

Directing: Jakub Wagner


"I have the feeling that there is always someone creating something which our generation never even imagined." Jan Kaplický, quote from his essay on architecture.
We believe that from today's perspective, i.e. a time when ecological issues are becoming the focal point, a time when many of us suffer from a lack of living space, forming the human beings; We believe that it is worth trying to make a film portrait of a man who dealt with these issues a long time ago, through architecture! Long before 1968, when he decided to leave the country as a consequence of the then political turmoil and it was only in emigration that he proved his exceptional talent! Our intention is to create – on a large scale – a portrait of the heart of Jan Kaplický, as well as of his opinions and thinking through the architecture of today's society. Jan Kaplický has been living and working in England for a long time, where he also founded Future Systems, a prestigious society recognized throughout the world. He visits Prague, his native town, partly because of the fact that he feels homesick and also because he pursues various projects here (among the most famous ones, there is the proposed memorial to the victims of the communist regime, in the form of 42 stairs leading to a point overlooking the city, which has however not been put in practice yet). Unfortunately, all his proposals usually meet opposition in the Czech Republic, both due to personal intolerance, associated with envy – a typical Czech character, as well as due to a number of absurd decisions about what to build, where bribery often plays an important role. Similarly to Milan Kundera, a well-known writer, Jan Kaplický has not become very popular in his home country. The important themes on which the film should focus include the life story of this man – an architect, problems of leaving one's native land and various issues of modern architecture. Thanks to our friendly relations with J.K., we managed to make a short recording in spring 2002, when the architect took us to his favourite spots in Prague, heartily spoke about the influence that his parents had on him (in Letná Alley) and about how one develops as an architect, moments of his youth before he left the country in 1968, about how a Russian soldier aimed his gun at him, about the generation changes and the unrealised monument to the victims of communism. This interview could help people reveal the horizons and motivate them to take a different view of the world.
With his more than two-meter-high posture of a tall gentleman (visually an extremely interesting person), he irradiates strong energy. This was also evident from his lecture which he gave to a crowded audience in Veletržní Fair Palace, Prague, in 1999, from which we have managed to get a unique recording.
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