domenica 4 agosto 2013

Oratorio for Prague - Jan Nemec


un documentario felice e ottimista che alla fine trova l'incubo della Storia, una delle tante pagine buie - Ismaele


A unique document of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the movie was begun as a documentary about the liberalization of Czechoslovakia and then became a record of the entry of Russian tanks into Prague. The only filmed footage of the Soviet invasion, it was seen by more than 600 million people when broadcast on television, and it was the first information that the Soviet Army had not been "invited" in. The film also includes never-before-seen scenes from the Prague Spring before the invasion.

The film Nemec had planned would probably have been a sweet trifle, a spectacle of dancing teens and smiling grannies. Instead, with unanticipated scenes such as that of a grandmother facing down tanks with a portrait of her president, the filmmaker's naïveté only underscores the poignant futility of his compatriots' protests.

Oratorio for Prague (Oratorium pro Prahu), shot in 1968 by Czech director Jan Němec, was suppressed by Soviet authorities; it's still hard to find. Němec and his crew shot astonishing footage of Soviet tanks and troops invading Prague. The citizens gather and a few are killed by the soldiers, and some of the tanks are put on fire. Němec also shows idyllic scenes of the Prague spring, including some sort of hippie festival.
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