Leaving. And the presence of a playwright, prisoner of conscience, statesman and a director of his own life. An unprecedented story, unknown shots, absolute openness. Your support will allow us to complete the film without compromises. Thank you.
Author: Petr Jančárek
Documentary filmmaker Petr Jančárek started working with Václav Havel in the year 2003. He got the offer to film the rest of Václav Havel’s life in April 2009. Their relationship was characterized by absolute openness and trust of the world-famous personality to the director and the absolute responsibility of the creator towards his hero. During the last three years of Havel's life, over 200 hours of unique, until now never published, original material for a feature documentary could have been filmed.
There are many documentaries about the president’s life, ours is mainly about his message and legacy. We want to show the audience Václav Havel in his own style, as a dramatic figure with history and development, with a number of doubts, as a shy but consistent director of his own destiny, as a man with a life full of paradoxes, absurdities and unexpected twists. And also as a man whose credo was that deeds must always be in accordance with conscience. At the time of the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the November events, we want to present a documentary understandable to viewers all over the world, visually accessible to people who did not experience Havel's time and as for the level of the content and form to be equivalent to the importance of its main hero.
Václav Havel was and still remains one of the most distinctive personalities of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. He is a man whose life naturally combined the positions of a playwright, a philosopher and a statesman, whose civil stances and artistic activities reached practically all spheres of public life.
He is an interesting figure who can be, without exaggeration, declared one of the most significant personalities of European and world importance. Havel's life story has previously become the subject of many books, historical studies, and documentary films. Nevertheless, his trace is so unique, both domestically and globally, that it allows further and further adaptations of his fate, of course, only assuming that new authors will be able to look at it from a different point of view than the creators so far.
The hero of the documentary "Havel Speaking, Can You Hear Me?" is able to clearly formulate his opinions, has perspective and brilliantly analyses the reality around. He is a natural authority and a leading personality not only in the environment of intellectuals, underground and artists, but also among fellow prisoners, diplomats and world statesmen. He differs from others by his complex and multi-layered nature, from which his wide range of interests originates.
Both Havel's private and public life are provocative in many ways. He is extremely firm in his opinions, he says what he thinks and he always abides by saying that one has to guarantee for his words and actions. At the same time he remains open to all opinions and thoughts, he is humble, polite, respectful, and modest. In politics, he irritates the right-wing parties with distrust to power as such, defence of civil society and criticism of economic self-sustainability. The left-wing parties cannot stand him either, they will never forgive his bon vivant lifestyle, the allegedly uncritical propagation of the "West" and the incompletion (in their conception, betrayal) of the Velvet Revolution.
Only the followers of Communism and Fascism are absolutely clear in his case - Havel is an enemy who simply needs to be liquidated. And it is not only his open-mindedness, but also his so-called bourgeois origin, they dislike.
Our film’s hero observes himself decidedly, describes his actions, considers his steps in a broader context, and thus, to a great extent, shapes his life in the spirit of the basic rules of drama. He still considers and stages into detail every movement around him, he is an essential and natural director from the very beginning of his creative existence (long before he started filming his own film). The key to understanding Havel in front of a camera, where he appears more often and more willingly, is that he does not differ between his private and public self. It is a display of his spontaneity, responsibility and internal need of self-control. Therefore, we can work with hundreds of hours of existing records that capture his thoughts, efforts and life.
Interior. Day. The shooting of one of the messages intended for participants in events which Václav Havel cannot personally take part in, yet he wants to support them with a statement, has just finished. The former president is sitting by the table, the documentarist is packing his camera, microphones and lights. VH (after a small pause): "Mr. Jančárek... Do you have a minute?" PJ (instantly): "Yes, of ourse, Mr. President."
The president points to one of the chairs. VH: "Sit down then..." PJ: "Thank you ..." The documentarist puts down a tripod and sits opposite to the president. The President takes a slow sip. VH (shyly): "Mr. Jančárek, I have a certain proposal for you ... Would you like to film the rest of my life? Of course, only if you have the interest and the time..." The documentarist looks rather shocked but immediately responds. PJ (without hesitation): "Of course, Mr. President ...”
We are independent producers of the feature documentary "Havel Speaking, Can You Hear Me?" There are also a few friends and co-authors who have been supporting us for a long time and are involved in creating this picture. The author of the film Petr Jančárek is a Czech documentary filmmaker who has made a number of documentaries from the problematic areas of the world and devotes his work especially to important moments of our modern history. He is a co-founder of the People in Need organization, o.p.s. (similar to NPO) and a member of its board of directors. He works as a teacher at the Silesian University in Opava. He received the Ferdinand Peroutka Award, the main Award of the Politics on Film Festival in Washington, the awards for Best Czech Popular Science Film and Audience Award at AFO and many other awards.
We need to get the resources to complete our documentary without compromises. We would like to have as many days in the cutting room, graphic studio and sound studio as the film really needs and not as the current budget allows. We also want to increase the amount of money for buying copyrights so that we can use more of the film hero’s favourite songs from the world-famous bands in the film. We would like to have enough money to pay the fee of the best actors so that we can engage them for the comments reading in Czech and English versions of the film.
We are asking for a support through HitHit also because the involvement of the public in the project through crowdfunding gives us (in addition to the possibility of obtaining the funds needed for its better completion) the energy for the remaining months of work and increases our responsibility for the precise and captivating interpretation of Václav Havel, which we happily accept.
It applies for all crowdfunding rewards that more information about their usage will be found on www.havelspeaking.com or on social networks (the ENG version coming soon), as well as the details and news about the film and many other surprises. We will also remind all supporters a few days prior to the film release, that they have the code, which will allow them to see the film in an online premiere before the others.