Elective Affinities - sample - Ludvik Svoboda
Year of production 1968
Written by Karel Vachek
Screenplay Karel Vachek
Director Karel Vachek
Dir. of photography Jozef Ort-Šnep
Editing Jiřina Skalská
Sound Zbyněk Mader
Prod. manager Petr Brada, Stanislav Litera
Production Krátký Film Praha – Documentary Film
General Ludvík Svoboda, Prime Minister Oldřich Černík, General Secretary of the Communist Party Alexander Dubček, Chairman of the National Assembly Josef Smrkovský, economist Ota Šik, men of letters Jan Procházka, Pavel Kohout, Jan Skácel, Karel Ptáčník, Milan Jariš, Jan Otčenášek, politicians Josef Špaček, Gustav Husák, Marie Švermová, Miroslav Galuška, Drahomír Kolder, Čestmír Císař, Ludvík Černý, Bohuslav Laštovička, Jozef Lenárt, Zdeněk Fierlinger, Marie Miková, Josef Borůvka, Josef Plojhar, Karel Poláček, Vasil Bil´ak, Jan Pillar, Julius Dolanský, Joří Hendrych, Martin Vaculík and scientists Radoslav Selucký, Karel Kosík and Eduard Goldstücker.
Between 1963 – 1968 Vachek attempted in vain to complete a feature film with Oldřich
Nový in the leading role – his great ambition. The helter-skelter events of 1968 (Prague Spring) forged a role for him instead of recording the events surrounding the election of the new President of Czechoslovakia. Equipped with the most modern HW of that time – a 16mm. camera Eclair linked by a synchronisation cable to a Nagra tape-recorder – he and his team entered the political spotlight to capture an unrepeatable event stripped to it's bones. At the point where others switched off their cameras Vachek often began to film. His film breathes authenticity, paradoxically produced in tandem with the crew and underlined by a masterful film composition based on an ironical confrontation of the high and low, dramatic and comic, official and personal. Dubček, Svoboda, Smrkovský and Černík monitored by Vachek's camera become run-of-the-mill, ridiculous, but alive and without any media mask cover.
The title ‚Elective Affinities‘, which cites Johann Wolfgang Goethe's novel, is, according to Vachek, a reference to the ‚political marriage‘ switches of the participants of those events in a tumultuous historical era.
Era showed itself even more melodramatic and for a while totally altered the ironic sense of the film. On 21 August 1968 Czechoslovakia was invaded by armies of the Warsaw Pact which had decided to forcibly crush the reform process. The film appearing in cinemas on 8 November 1968 is viewed nostalgically by people and it's participants became national martyrs…
1969 - Grand Prize from Karlovy Vary
1969 - Grand Prize from Oberhausen
1969 - "Trilobit" prize from FITES
1990 - Golden Berlin Camera