The Play’s the Thing: Václav Havel - Art and Politics
dir. Václav Havel, 2011, Czech w/ English subtitles, 94 min.
In 2008, Havel returned to the theater with
a new play, Leaving, in which an ex-government official tries to reenter his
former life. His film version premiered shortly before his death in December
2011. As the action unfolds on a rural estate, comparisons to Havel’s own life
become clear: “Before the 1989 Revolution, I had an idea for a character like
King Lear, who loses power. It might have been the influence of the 1968
generation—the people who had been party members . . . after ‘68 they were
thrown out and started to live ordinary lives, and pretended they didn’t mind,
but they did.”
Special Thanks to: Margaret Parsons, Head of the Film Program at the National Gallery of Art, National Film Archive in Prague, The Václav Havel Library, the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013 Czech Television, and the Embassy of the Czech Republic.