This unique documentary follows Václav Havel for 11 years–from 1992, just prior to his election as president of the newly formed Czech Republic through his defeat by arch-rival Václav Klaus in 2003. The film is a remarkably intimate portrait of Havel at the helm and a revealing look at a tumultuous period of history, offering a unique insight into Havel’s life, presidency and thought. “I would like to be a good president,” the former dissident playwright said upon his election and then finds him embroiled in daily politics of stasis. The film reveals Havel’s seat-of-the-pants governance in which he returned to his idealistic maxim, “Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred,” yet, on political defeat, describes his plans as “I’ll just go from pub to pub, my pockets full of well-thumbed photos of people I used to know.”
What shaped this unique individual whose life as a playwright turned to becoming a dissident, jailed by the Communist regime for over 4 years, and then leading his country through the Velvet Revolution?
Directed by Miroslav Janek & Pavel Koutecký, 2008, Czech Republic, 119 min. In Czech with English subtitles.