October 28 is an important holiday in the Czech Republic as the day that the Czechoslovak - and thereby Czech - nation was born out of the ashes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. That moment of independence was the triumph of a hundred-year mission to rebuild a national identity out of a dozen generations of Austrian rule. It is called the Czech National Revival, a cultural movement that re-awoke interest in Czech history, gave a new lease to the Czech language and pushed Czech art, and particularly music, to the forefront of Europe. As we
The 13th International Documentary Film Festival in Jihlava, the biggest event of its kind in Central Europe, gets underway on Tuesday. Over the following six days, it will screen more than 200 documentaries from all over the world including the most recent documentary by Michael Moore, ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’. I asked the festival’s director Marek Hovorka to outline the programme.
Wednesday marks the 91st anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. In conjunction with that anniversary, the National Memorial on Prague’s Vítkov hill has just been officially reopened after extensive renovations. It was built in honour of the Czech legionnaires whose bravery in World War I helped pave the way for the creation of the state, and reflects much of modern Czech history.
Not long after moving to Prague at the start of 1991, Englishman Richard Drury began working as a curator at the Central Bohemian Gallery, previously known as the Czech Museum of Fine Arts, on Husová St. He has been there ever since. Remarkably for a foreigner, he is also chairman of one section of the venerable Czech cultural organisation Umělecká beseda. When we met, I asked Drury if it had been hard to find a place in Prague’s art world.
A couple of years ago in this programme we spoke to the young Czech novelist Petra Hůlová about her epic novel of life in contemporary Mongolia, “Paměť mojí babičce“ – which translates literally as “Memory for My Grandmother”. The book has just been published to considerable acclaim in English translation by Northwestern University Press under the title “All This Belongs to Me”. Since writing it back in 2002, Petra has been far from idle, publishing no less than four further novels that take us from inside the mind of an ageing prostitute to the steppes
A play based on the short but stormy love affair between the Third Reich’s infamous propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and a young Czech film star has been causing quite a stir locally. Goebbels-Baarová has sparked controversy ― partly because of its unforgiving treatment of actress Lída Baarová and its message aimed at today’s Czechs. We investigate the play’s background and talk with its joint author and director.
The winners of this year’s Czech Press Photo – a competition recognising the very best in Czech and Slovak photojournalism, were announced on Monday, with the main prize going to Slovak photographer Joe Klamar, who shoots for AFP. Mr Klamar won with an unusual photo from a series covering US President Barack Obama’s visit to Prague in April, including a highly-attended speech on Prague’s Hradčany square. The photo, taken on a misty and overcast day, was awarded for its originality, capturing as the jury suggested, a “symbolic dialogue” between Mr Obama and
The 2009 American comedy “The Brothers Bloom” is out now in the Czech Republic with the unmistakeable skyline of Prague Castle – which gets blown up in the film – immediately catching every Czech’s eye. For years, the country’s stunning locations and skilled crews attracted international filmmakers but foreign productions have recently abandoned the Czech Republic for countries offering better financial conditions to filmmakers. Now the Czech government has approved an incentives programme to revive the Czech film industry which has reached its