Film Citizen Havel
Fri, May 2, 2008 • 1:00 PM • CAL 100
The Texas Chair in Czech Studies presents:
Paul Wilson, official translator for Vaclav Havel, will be screening
A documentary revealing former Czech president Vaclav Havel's private moments and backroom dealings.
First the voice of anti-Communism and then the spokesman for a democracy that began sweeping through Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, Václav Havel looms larger than life. But few know how the former Czech president hates American food (he claims it never has enough flavor), how he thinks his second wife Dagmar was a secret weapon against French President Jacques Chirac, and how he wants the world to know of his love for modern glass designer Borek Šípek. Personal insights such as these, along with frequent Havelesque philosophical ruminations, are revealed in the 2008 documentary Obcan Havel (Citizen Havel), directed by Pavel Koutecký and edited by Miroslav Janek.
The film follows Havel throughout the years of his presidency from 1993 to 2003. As director, Koutecký was granted full access to the President's life, personal and political, and thus the audience is able to see Havel in intimate moments as well as professional. Whether it be mourning the loss of his first wife Olga, sparing with his Prime Minister Václav Klaus, obsessing over dandruff, or giving restaurant advice to the Rolling Stones, Václav Havel remains throughout a statesman, a legend and a citizen.