A bold, raw portrait of youth adrift in 1970s Czechoslovakia. Based on the legendary 1980s cult novel by Jan Pelc with music by DG307 & The Plastic People of the Universe.
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 who himself immigrated to France, 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.
Writer JAN PELC will discuss direct inspirations for the film such as life in the 70s Czechoslovakia, being part of the Czech underground and what it meant to be exiled in France while KAREL ŠLING will share his experience of growing up as the son of a ‘traitor’ and being part of the dissident movement centred around Charter 77.
Chaired by former BBC journalist IVAN KYTKA. (Czech Centre)