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Program

Jun 19, 2012 7:00 PM

My Father George Voskovec

FILM CLUB. Free admission. Documentary on George Voskovec, Q&A with the director and the family.


 An American story of Czech legendary actor.

The film focuses on George Voskovec‘s life in the United States after 1950 when the communist regime in Czechoslovakia forced him into exile. His second. The first time was to escape the Nazis.

George Voskovec has been loved and revered by generations of Czech people who remember him as the other half of the Liberated Theater duo (Osvobozene divadlo) in the 1920s and 1930s in Prague.  Together with Jan Werich and composer Jaroslav Jezek, they were the theatrical version of today’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Their Dadaistic Theater with funny, intelligent and whimsical texts provided social and political commentary. Even young Czechs today sing their timeless songs and only lately, they are finding out about George Voskovec’s fate. After his emigration, his name was erased from the official Czech cultural history.

My Father George Voskovec (Můj otec George Voskovec), 2011, 75 min.
Documentary  directed by Libuse Rudinska
Cast: Gigi Voskovec-Gotfried, Chris Voskovec, Vicki Voskovec, Václav Havel, Miloš Forman, Jiří Planner

 

 

Synopsis: 

The film focuses on George Voskovec‘s life in the United States after 1950 when the communist regime in Czechoslovakia forced him into exile. His second. The first time was to escape the Nazis.

George Voskovec has been loved and revered by generations of Czech people who remember him as the other half of the Liberated Theater duo (Osvobozene divadlo) in the 1920s and 1930s in Prague.  Together with Jan Werich and composer Jaroslav Jezek, they were the theatrical version of today’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Their Dadaistic Theater with funny, intelligent and whimsical texts provided social and political commentary. Even young Czechs today sing their timeless songs and only lately, they are finding out about George Voskovec’s fate. After his emigration, his name was erased from the official Czech cultural history.

Voskovec acted in 72 movies. Only the first five of these were Czech; the rest were American or British. His most famous American movie was 12 Angry Men - where being a very recognizable European immigrant to the US was central his role. His most famous British film was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. His last movie was Barbarosa, with Willie Nelson and Gary Busey. Voskovec also appeared in the 1978 TV-film The Nativity and the 1980 film Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In 1956 he won the OBIE Award for his role in Uncle Vanya.

The documentary, titled “My Farther Voskovec” and narrated by his American adopted daughter Gigi Voskovec, includes interviews with people in the United States who worked with George Voskovec or knew him as a friend, such as Andrei Serban and Milos Forman Ex-president Vaclav Havel and others. We are hoping that some of Voskovec’s fellow actors will be able to add a piece into the mosaic depicting his American life.

 

 

LIBUSE RUDINSKA
In her work, Rudinska focuses on social aspects of ordinary life situations and struggles. She produced and directed several documentaries about communities such as Vietnamese and Roma’s minorities and refugees in Czech Republic, and tribes in East Africa.

Until 2003, she worked as director of photography and film director with independent war journalists on documentaries and reports from Kenya, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan for the Czech private film and news company EPICENTRUM. Rudinska also directed and produced about ten documentary films and numerous short films for the Czech Public Television.

Rudinska is currently working on a documentary My Father Voskovec about a famous Czech actor George (Jiri) Voskovec who represents an important and emotional part in Czech cultural history. The film focuses on his life in the USA after the communist take-over in 1948 forced him into exile.

Filmography: 

2000 Africa - Lost Immunity (Afrika-ztráta imunity)

2000 Ethiopia-My Blood Home (Etiopie-země mé krve )

2001 Josephine –Her African Story (Josefína-africký příběh)

2001 Georgia-the First Year of Freedom (Gruzie v roce jedna)

2001 Jews from the Mountains of Caucasus in Azerbaijan (Horští Židé)

2001 Nagorno Karabagh-Ten years after the war (Nahorní Karabach deset let poté)

2002 Sixth Field Hospitals in Afghanistan (Šestá polní v Afghánistánu)

2002 Women of My Life (Ženy mého života)
2002 Evangelium - The Afghan Way (Afghanské evangelium)

2003 Age of Liability (Hranice dospělosti)
2004 Just Man and Woman? A look at the registered partnership in San Francisco, (Jen muž a žena?)
2005 Russia: Last stop in the Far East (Rusko: konečná na Východě)

2008 Wenceslas Square 2008 (Václavák 2008)

2008 Stolen Motherhood (Uloupené mateřství) sterilization of Gypsy women in the CR

2008 Twenty Years of Insomnia (Dvacet bezesných let) Aftermath of earthquake in Armenia in 1988

Awards:1994 New Names in Czech Photography, 2nd prize

1995 Czech Press Photo, 3rd prize

1995 International Cultural Foundation Amsterdam – 3rd prize

1997 Czech Press Photo, 1st prize

1998 Grand Prix de la Ville de Vevey, Switzerland, 1st prize, Alpa camera category

1999 Czech Press Photo, 2nd prize

2000 Czech Press Photo, 2nd prize

 

Education:

1993 -1999 Photography at FAMU (Prague Film Academy

1995 Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom

1997 Kyushu Sangio University, Fukuoka, Japan

1999 State University in Voronezh, Russia

2003 - 2004 San Francisco State University, USA, Fulbright scholarship

 

 

Venue:

321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States

Date

Jun 19, 2012 7:00 PM

Organizer:

Czech Center


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