In the northern Czech provinces in the 70s, Olin, who has just been released from a psychiatric ward after he slashed his wrists in an attempt to avoid military service, throws himself into the world of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll searching for freedom in the country’s social and cultural “underground” scene. As his dreams of a world where no-one orders him about and stops him doing what he wants to do are not coming true, Olin together with his long-haired friends decides to act and look for it in the West.
Inspired by the underground bestseller by writer Jan Pelc, this is arguably one of the rawest testimonies of the Normalisation period which followed the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. The authenticity of the experience combined with hard-hitting images, incredible performances by non-actors and music by underground bands DG307 and The Plastic People of the Universe ensured the book´s cult status transferred to the film which premiered to great acclaim at the 2007 International Berlin Film Festival.
Book tickets here.
Dir. Petr Nikolaev, Czech Republic, 2007, 86’
Cast: Karel Žídek, Radomil Uhlíř, Filip Kaňkovský, Tereza Hofová, Mirek Škultéty, Perla Kotmelová
Followed by discussion about life under communism versus life in exile with writer JAN PELC and former dissident KAREL ŠLING.
ABOUT JAN PELC
Jan Pelc is a Czech writer and journalist. Emigrating to France in 1981, he worked as an editor of the Czech exile journal Svěděctví in Paris, while also contributing to Radio Free Europe programme. After the 1989 Velvet Revolution, he moved back to his homeland focusing on his writing career.
It‘s Gonna Get Worse, his most renowed three-volume novel, was published in Germany in 1985 causing a heated discussion among the Czech emigration society – accusations were made about book’s lack of patriotism and pornography. However Jan Pelc came second in 1985 Radio Free Europe’s contest for the most popular Czech writer. His further work include Sexual Misery And Other Stories (1991), Fireless Is The Underground (1992), Make Your Pick (2004), The Last Smoke (2006), and Kauai (2009).