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Sep 21, 2017 - Aug 24, 2017

LARKS ON A STRING - The Power of the Powerless

Five banned Czechoslovak films stand as testaments to the power of dissident art. Organized in collaboration with Film Society of Lincoln Center. 

Thursday, September 21, 7:00pm

Sunday, September 24, 4:30pm

Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center

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Director: Jiří Menzel, 1969, 94 min, Czechoslovakia 

Camaraderie and romance blossom in, of all places, a Prague junkyard in this deceptively sunny satire from the director of Closely Watched Trains.

This deceptively sunny satire from the director of Closely Watched Trains conceals a deadly serious heart. Set in the aftermath of the 1948 Communist coup, it follows a band of bourgeois enemies of the state who are relegated to working in a scrap metal yard where camaraderie and romance blossom even as people disappear for having the wrong opinions. Throughout, filmmaker Jiří Menzel balances moments of graceful comedy with sobering reminders of authoritarianism’s human toll. Banned for decades, Larks on a String went unseen until its premiere at the 1990 Berlin Film Festival, where it took the top prize.








The Czech New Wave, one of the most radical and brilliant bursts of creativity in film history, has flourished even within a totalitarian state. It was a bloody end with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Despite the stifling restrictions, the intrepid generation of Filmmakers continued to challenge Communist censorship by creating an art that was unpopularly provocative, satirical, and deeply critical of authoritarianism. The Soviet government responded the only way it knew how: by banning these works outright so many went unseen in their home country for decades. In anticipation of Vaclav Havel Day in New York City on September 28 - Czech Republic's National Statehood Day - Join us for a celebration of these subversive, wildly funny, dark and defiant films.

Presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center and BBLA. 

*The name "Power of the Powerless" is inspired by Václav Havel's 1978 essay, "The Power of the Powerless." Havel started an important discussion on the subject of freedom and power in Eastern Europe, questioning how one should challenge and interact with governing bodies in their society.*


The Ear
The Cremator 
The Firemen's Ball
All My Compatriots




Lincoln Center


From: Sep 21, 2017
To: Aug 24, 2017


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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