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Karel Vachek is one of the the most original Czech director of the last fifty years. He is often called “enfant terrible of the Czech New Wave” . After 1968 silenced by the Communist regime, emigrated with his family to the USA via France. His films are described as film novels because their divergent structure and potent philosophical base remind one of modern novels. Karel Vachek is professor and head of Documentary Department at FAMU.

Zavis - sample - Benes revised Czechoslovakia

Záviš, the prince of pornofolk under the influence of Griffith´s Intolerance and Tati`s Monsineur Hulot`s Holiday or The Foundation and Doom of Czechoslovakia {1918 – 1992}

Year of production 2006
Written by Karel Vachek
Screenplay Karel Vachek
Director Karel Vachek
Dir. of photography Karel Slach
Editing Renata Pařezová
Sound Libor Sedláček
Production Produkce Radim Procházka

Jaroslav Čejka, mime artist, Ivan Dejmal, ecologist and politician, Stanislav Gross, ex- Prime Minister, Dana Kolářová and her dog Sydney, Pavel Lukáš, owner of an animal cemetery, Miroslav Macek, politician, Jiří Paroubek, ex-Prime Minister, Jakub Patočka, Chief Editor of Literární noviny weekly and ecologist, Petr Pilate alias Rasper, youngest man in the world who completed a "backflip" on his motorcycle, Jakub Procházka, a young offender, David Rath, ex- Minister of Health, Milan Záviš Smrčka, the prince of porn music, Jaroslav Spurný, Editor of Respekt weekly magazine and others.


A dog’s funeral becomes part of a chain of absurd events including a tomato ketchup battle, a reconstruction of the battle of Austerlitz and a motorbike show. Its common denominator is the commercial interest of sponsors and big buisness, the ambivalent winners of privatization and participants of numerous coruption affairs. Vachek debates corruption and environmental disaster, but insists that there is an alternative. Against the mass of „pseudoevents“ is the independent techno-party CzechTekk, raided by the police despite the fact that it was entirely law-abiding, whose participants are Vachek believes to be the new „unionists“.


1964 - Honorable Mention at the short film festival in Karlovy Vary - Moravian Hellas
1969 - Grand Prize from Karlovy Vary - Elective Affinities
1969 - Grand Prize from Oberhausen - Elective Affinities
1969 - “Trilobit” prize from FITES - Elective Affinities
1990 - Golden Berlin Camera - Elective Affinities
2000 - Best Czech Documentary Film Award at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival - Bohemia Docta, or The Labyrinth of the World and the Lust-house of the Heart (a Divine Comedy)]
2002 - Best Czech Documentary Film Award at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival - Who will Watch the Watchman? Dalibor Or The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin