An international documentary film festival dedicated to dramatic events and historical figures of the last century.
The fourth edition of the Nezlomní a obětovaní (Unbreakable and Sacrificed) Film Festival will be held at the Atlas Cinema from 31 October to 3 November 2023. (Venue: Atlas Cinema, Sokolovská 1, Praha 8 – Karlín)
The theme of this year’s edition is the anti-communist resistance. The films will focus on the anti-communist resistance, not only in the former Czechoslovakia, but also in other countries of the former Soviet bloc. The programme will include mostly documentaries, but also several feature films from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany and other countries.
The festival will also include student workshops, a competition of student films about the 20th century and traditional morning screenings for schools, always followed by debates with filmmakers and historians.
The 20th Century Documentary Film Festival was established in 2020 as a project of the The Twentieth Century Memorial Museum and it has been inspired by the Polish NNW Documentary Film Festival in Gdynia.
TUESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2023 – LARGE HALL
- Obraz nepřítele v komunistické televizní tvorbě (The Image of the Enemy in Communist Television Production)
Seminar in cooperation with Czech Television Even Though Czechoslovak television production was primarily intended to encourage, to paint reality pink and to create desirable images of life in a socialist paradise, an enemy is always useful. Guests: Daniel Růžička, Martin Vadas Moderator: Jan Kalous
- Pravomil (A Righteous Choice) Martin Huba as a man who took justice into his old hands. The short film won the Czech Lion for Best Student Film. Czech Republic, 2014, dir. Pavel Nosek, 24 min. Introduction: Petr Blažek
- Po stopách třetího odboje, díl 5/16, Neohrožení/, 9/16, Tanky na Prahu/14/16, Do Berlína! (In the Footsteps of the Third Resistance, Episode 5/16, Intrepid /, 9/16, Tanks on Prague! /, 14/16, To Berlin!)
Czech Republic, 2010, Czech Television, r. Petra Všelichová, Marcel Petrov Guest: Petra Všelichová Moderator: Veronika Bendová
Opening of the Festival
(THE OPENING OF THE FESTIVAL WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A SCREENING OF THE FILM ESCAPE TO BERLIN)
Guests: Jan Kalous, Jiří Pospíšil, Bohuslav Svoboda, Ondřej Gros
- Útěk do Berlína (Escape to Berlin – Pre-Premiere)
The 30-day journey of five young men with twenty-five thousand militiamen and soldiers behind them. Czech Republic, 2023, Czech Television, dir. Jan Novák – Martin Froyda Guests: Jan Novák, Martin Froyda Moderator: Petr Blažek
TUESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2023 – BLUE HALL
- Propaganda a filmové reflexe třetího odboje (Propaganda and Film Reflections of the Third Resistance)
Historians´ discussion and screenings of the film selections You may remember the King of Šumava, but what about North Harbour, Rooster drives away death or Express from Nuremberg? And what was it all really like? Guest: Petr Kopal Moderator: Petr Blažek
- Střela zblízka/ Poslední poprava (Nachsluss) (Close Shot / The Last Execution (Nahschuss))
East Berlin in 1981. Franz Walter has just finished his PhD in economics in the German Democratic Republic when he is promised a professorship at the university by the intelligence service. But it won’t be for free. Germany, 2021, dir. Franziska Stünkel, 116 min. Introduction: Kryštof Zeman
Language: German/Subtitles Czech, Discussion: Czech
- Štvanice. Prokletí vojáci (Obława. Żołnierze Wyklęci) (The Cursed Soldiers (Obława. Żołnierze Wyklęci))
No, the Poles didn’t really throw lilacs at Soviet tanks. In fact, they managed to make a pretty clear opinion of them during the Second World War. We still don’t know much about the Polish „cursed soldiers“. Poland, 2018, dir. Maksymilian Bednarz, 36 min.
- Rotmistr Pilecki (Pilecki)
He volunteered to be imprisoned in Auschwitz in order to bring back important news and the first testimony about the reality of the extermination camps. His own people executed him as a reward after the war. Poland, 2022, dir. Milosz Kozioł, 38 min.
Guest: Arkadiusz Gołębiewski Moderator: Petr Blažek
Language: Polish/Subtitles Czech Discussion: Polish/Czech
WEDNESDAY 1.11. 2023 – LARGE HALL
- Screening for Schools 1
Země bez hrdinů, země bez zločinců… (A Country without Heroes, a Country without Criminals…)
This 1996 documentary, through the narratives of Mašín brothers and several other actors, raises the question of whether the February coup was a declaration of civil war in which armed resistance is legitimate. Czech Republic, 1996, Czech Television, dir. Martin Vadas, 60 min. Guest: Martin Vadas Moderator: Petr Blažek
- Screening for schools 2
Plastic People of the Universe
Made at the start of the new millennium, this film looks back at the experiences of a band diligently persecuted by a previous regime. Czech Republic, 2001, Czech Television, dir. Jana Chytilová, 74 min. Guest: Jana Chytilová Moderator: Jan Samohýl
- Líbam tě, Juozas (Bučiuoju, Juozas) Kisses, Juozas
This historical documentary reveals the drama of the struggle, fight and decisions of Lieutenant Colonel Juozas Vitkus Kazimieraitis, a military engineer and anti-communist resistance fighter. Lithuania, 2022, dir. Agnė Zalanskaitė, 40 min. Introduction: Jan Kalous
Language: Lithuanian/Subtitles Czech, Discussion: Czech
- Vratislavská bitva (Bitwa wrocławska) The Battle of Wrocław
In 1982, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Wrocław. The film about the protest against martial law was based on the diary memories of a teenager. However, the filming also brought to light some completely new findings and rewrote the original historical data. Poland, 2016, dir. Beata Januchta, 116 min. Introduction: Petr Blažek
Language: Polish/Subtitles Czech, Discussion: Czech
- Živá (Жива) Alive
What must await you if you don’t want to at any cost fall into the hands of your pursuers alive? Anna Popovich survived it all. This highly compelling story is an epic look at events that seem uncomfortably familiar today. Ukraine, 2016, dir. Taras Khymych, 90 min. Guest: David Svoboda Moderator: Veronika Bendová
Language: Ukrainian /Subtitles Czech, Discussion: Czech
Poland, 2016, IPN, r. Konrad Starczewski, 68 min. Guest: Konrad Starczewski Moderator: Petr Blažek
Language: Polish/Subtitles Czech Discussion: Polish/Czech
WEDNESDAY 1.11. 2023 – BLUE HALL
- Student Workshop – Part 1
How to make films about things that no longer exist? Smíchov Secondary industrial school and Gymnasium Guests: Viola Ježková, Arkadiusz Gołębiewski Moderators: Jan Samohýl, Veronika Bendová
- Student Workshop – Part 2
Smíchov Secondary Industrial School and Gymnasium Guests: Viola Ježková, Arkadiusz Gołębiewski Moderators: Jan Samohýl, Veronika Bendová
- Czechoslovakia in the Special Services, Volume 9/19) Agents-Walkers
„Agent-walker“ was a term of the State Security. They most often called themselves couriers. Czech Republic, 2001, Czech Television, dir. Vit Hajek, 58 min. Guest: Olga Bezděková Moderator: Petr Blažek
THURSDAY 2.11. 2023 – LARGE HALL
- Screening for Schools 1
Kauza profesorky Vackové (The Case of Professor Vacková)
A reconstruction of an illegal trial from the 1950s. Růžena Vacková was just the second university professor in Czech history. She was also the only teacher who went with her students to the Castle in 1948 to urge President Beneš not to give in to Gottwald’s pressure. Czech Republic, 2010, Czech Television, dir. Pavel Křemen, 57 min. Guest: Pavel Křemen Moderator: Jan Samohýl
- Screening for Schools 2
Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných (The Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted)
VONS was the most important centre of resistance against human rights violations in Czechoslovakia. The trial of its members sparked massive solidarity throughout the free world. Czech Republic, 2018, Czech Television, dir. Olga Sommerová, 65 min. Guest: Kamila Bendová Moderator: Petr Blažek
- Screening with VHÚ/Military History Institute Prague) Two feature-length, rich propaganda pieces from the archives of the Military Institute. Both are linked by the theme of border security.
- Neprojdou (They Shall Not Pass) Czechoslovakia, 1952,Czechoslovak Army Film, dir. Zbyněk Brynych, 12:30 min.
- Slyší tě nepřítel ( The Enemy is Listening) Czechoslovakia, 1952, Czechoslovak Army Film, dir. Zbyněk Brynych, 19 min. Moderator: Michal Burian
- Kauza Uherské Hradiště (Uherské Hradiště Cause)
Under what laws do you want to judge them? Under theirs? Or ours?“ This time-lapse documentary touches not only on the futile efforts of former political prisoners to seek at least elementary justice for the brutal crimes committed in the Uherské Hradiště prison. Czech Republic, 2007, CT, dir. Kristina Vlachová 57 min. Guest: Kristina Vlachová Moderator: Jan Kalous
- Sametoví teroristé (Velvet Terrorists)
Stano wanted to blow up the grandstand the night before first of May, Fero planned to assassinate Husák, Vladimír blew up the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia’s promotional bulletin boards. The fate of the three men who were convicted under Section 93 – terrorism, even though none of them killed or injured anyone. The documentary was awarded at the Berlinale 2014, and also at the Karlovy Vary IFF. Slovakia / Czech Republic / Croatia, 2013, r. Peter Kerekes, Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pekarčík, 87 min. Guests: Ivan Ostrochovský, Vladimír Hučín Moderator: Petr Blažek
- Viktor Fajnberg. Disidentem k zbláznění (Viktor Fajnberg. Dissident to the Point of Madness)
„For your freedom and ours“. An intimate portrait of one of the participants of the famous demonstration against the occupation of Czechoslovakia on Red Square on 25th August 1968. The film features unique archival footage from Soviet, British and Czech archives. Russia / Czech Republic / Israel, 2022, dir. Kirill and Ksenie Sakharnov, 86 minutes Guest: Michaela Stoilová
Language: Russian/Subtitles Czech, Discussion: Czech
THURSDAY 2.11. 2023 – BLUE HALL
- Student Films – Part 1
Eva, JAN, Mailboxes, Beyond the Border, Isolator, Island of Freedom Introduction: Veronika Bendová, Jiří Voráč
- Student Films – Part 2
uStopia, Last Let it Go Out, Luďia, who can’t scream, Imprints of the Past – Letters of Heliodor Píky, Ostrava in Retirement Introduction: Veronika Bendová, Jiří Voráč
- Vězení dějin– předpremiéra (Prison of History – Pre-Premiere)
The film enters the decades-closed Hradiště prison with its unique premises preserved from the 1950s in an attempt to set history free. An observational essay from the region with a trans-regional appeal. Czech Republic, 2023, dir. Jan Gogola – Matěj Hrudička, 90 min. Guest: Jan Gogola Moderator: Veronika Bendová
- Anatomie revoluce 1956 (Az 1956-os forradalom anatómiája) Anatomy of the 1956 Revolution
This film traces the events of the bloody Hungarian uprising against the communist regime in the mid-1950s from the perspective of erudite foreign historians. Hungary, 2016, dir. György Ordódy, 50 min. Guest: David Svoboda Moderator: Kryštof Zeman
Language: Czech, Discussion: Czech
FRIDAY 3.11. 2023 – LARGE HALL
- Screening for Schools 1
Pavel Tigrid Evropan (Pavel Tigrid The European)
This unique documentary captures in a remarkable way all the twists and turns of the protagonist’s uneasy life. who talks about them with wit and without sentimentality. Pavel Tigrid-Schönfeld, played by Helena Třeštíková, steps out of the usual cliché of the one-dimensional positive hero-anti-Communist. Czech Republic, 2004, Czech Television, dir. Helena Třeštíková, 58 min. Guest: Helena Třeštíková Moderator: Kryštof Zeman
- Screening for Schools 2
Zaniklý svět Karla Pecky (The Vanished World of Karel Pecka)
This biographical essay blends autobiographical elements from the work and authentic memories of one of our leading writers of the so-called Muklovian literature Czech Republic, 2000, Czech Television, dir. Pavel Štingl, 57 min. Guest: Pavel Štingl Moderator: Petr Blažek
- Screening with The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes
Pochoduj nebo zemři (March or Die)
After the coup in 1948, many Czechs and Slovaks were actively involved in the struggle against communism. In the service of the Foreign Legion and later the US Army, they fought and died in inhumane conditions on the battlefields of Vietnam. Czechia/Slovakia, 2018, Czech Television, Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), dir. Michael Kaboš, 52 min.
Guest: Michael Kaboš Moderator: Ladislav Kudrna
- Screening with The National Film Archive
Propaganda films Peacekeeper, Chasar’s Group, Silence the Gold, Their Mission Espionage. Intruders start fires, border guards look forward to the first border intruder, feature skits warn citizens about making unwanted calls – and who knows what a spy watch looked like? And it’s all deadly serious. Prepared and presented by Markéta Bártová.
- Cestou Mašínů – seminář s ukázkami připravovaného filmu (On the Mašín’s Way – seminar with film selections of the upcoming film)
For almost three decades, director Martin Vadas has been recording the story of the resistance group of the Mašín brothers, who led the armed resistance in communist Czechoslovakia from the summer of 1951 to October 1953. A distribution documentary is currently being made from more than 200 hours of footage. CZECH REPUBLIC, 2023, dir. Martin Vadas, 90 min. Guest: Martin Vadas Moderator: Petr Blažek
19:30-20:30 / TOGETHER WITH a FILM AN INVITATION-ONLY
Closing ceremony, award ceremony
Guests: Zdeňka Mašínová, Pavel Štingl, Josef Mašín (telebridge) Jitka Seitlová, Hana Kordová Marvanová, Jiří Pospíšil, Ladislav Kudrna, Robert Jandera
- Bratři (Brothers)
„I want it to be a film about trying to escape from the grip, about wanting to stay free. To give an insight into the upbringing and thinking of ambiguous and contradictory actors. To challenge the schematic evaluation oscillating between the extremes of ‚brilliant, courageous heroes‘ and ‚heartless killers of the innocent‘. Heroes by choice? In fact, driven by forces unimaginably more powerful. Nazism, Bolshevism and an idealized idea of one’s own father.“ Tomáš Mašín Czech Republic, 2023, dir. Tomáš Mašín, 135 min. Guest: Tomáš Mašín
FRIDAY 3.11. 2023 – BLUE HALL
- The Iron Curtain stories
episode 11/39 Freedom Train / 17/39 The Walker Agent Trap / 12/39 Catch the Stoppers! Czech Republic, 2006, dir. Ján Novák, Czech Television, 3 × 14 min. Introduction: Vít Fojtek
- Unknown Heroes (Series)
- Chtěl jsem být blanickým rytířem (I Wanted to Be a Knight of the Blanic) Czech Republic, 2011, Czech Television, dir. Zdeněk Všelicha, 27 min.
- Šel bych do toho znovu (I’d do it again) Czech Republic, 2011, Czech Telesion, dir. Jolana Matějková, 27 min.
- Ta krásná holka z vily and řekou (The Beautiful Girl from the Villa by the River) Czech Republic, 2009, CT, d. Alena Hynková, 27 min.
Introduction: Veronika Bendová