Oct 4, 2016 7:00 PM
SPIRIT OF HAVEL FILM FEST: CITIZEN HAVEL
SPIRIT OF HAVEL FILM FESTIVAL - COMMEMORATING VACLAV HAVEL’S 80TH BIRTHDAY
SPIRIT OF HAVEL FILM FEST:
October 4, 7PM: Citizen Havel
October 6, 7PM: From the East
October 11, 7PM: Under the Sun
A trio of films in honor of the revolutionary and human rights focused spirit of the first president of The Czech Republic-Václav Havel.
On the eve of Havel’s birth anniversary we celebrate his life. The film allows the viewer to become a witness to the birth of a democratic president, to the developing of ideas and decision-making that defines him.
Director Pavel Koutecky´ enjoyed remarkable access to Havel throughout his two terms as the Czech Republic's President (1993-2001). Following Koutecky´'s accidental death in 2006, the film was completed by his collaborator Miroslav Janek. The camera is present before, during and after numerous events of state, observing Havel as he frets over matters major and triflingly minor.
Vaclav Havel confirms his status as one of the most likable men to ever win office in this intriguing film, made over nearly a decade. It's a measure of the man that he's prepared to be so open (joking about his hopes to lose the election, complaining about American food) and shows the contrast with most of today's micro-managed spin-friendly gravy train riders. Many of his meetings take place in smoke and alcohol filled rooms, further marking him as a politician of the old school. The action centers not so much on political decision making (the president is largely a ceremonial position) but more the niceties of diplomacy, both foreign and working with a prime minister he despised. There are plenty of laughs to be had as well as poignant episodes such as the death of his first wife, which is sensitively handled. It is one of the most illuminating political films of the 21st century.
absorbing fly-on-the-wall record of an unusual head of state, "Citizen
Havel" ("Obcˇan Havel") works as a heartfelt, affectionate
tribute that also allows us to see the flaws and foibles of Vaclav Havel. There
are an array of famous faces on view, including Bill Clinton, the Rolling
Stones and both Presidents Bush.
Directors: Pavel Koutecký, Miroslav Janek 2007, 119 min
321 East 73rd Street
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Oct 4, 2016 7:00 PM