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Trestikova Helena

Helena Třeštíková

Czech Republic


Helena Třeštíková was born on June 22, 1949 in Prague. Graduated from FAMU, subject documentary film direction. From 1974, she works in professional production, having made over fifty documentary films of varying footage mostly on the themes of human relationships and various social problems (Romeo, Juliet and Children/Romeo, Julie a děti; The Miracle/Zázrak; Two Anniversaries of Jan Zrzavý/Dvě jubilea Jana Zrzavého; Helpline/Linka důvěry, Touch of Light/Dotek světla, Thousand Years of Sobriety/Tisíc let střízlivosti).
In the course of time, she specialized in the time-lapse method, following people’s life stories on long-term basis. For a period of six years, her first series of time-lapse films followed the everyday lives of several young married couples from the moment of their wedding. The film crew visited them regularly, recording their troubles, dreams, efforts, in several cases also crises, divorce, reconciliation.
As a result, the six part television series Marriage Stories/ Manželské etudy (1987) and two feature-length documentary films Out of Love/ Z lásky (1987) and Looking for Ways/ Hledání cest (1988) were made. In 1991, together with her film and sociologist colleagues, Třeštíková established the “Film and Sociology Foundation” with the aim of providing a new perspective of the society after the great political changes. A free cycle of five time-lapse films about the life stories of young delinquents called Tell Me Something about Yourself/ Řekni mi něco o sobě still being made.
In the years 1994-1996, Třeštíková made several portraits of interesting personalities for the Gen, Genus and VIP documentary series (Tomáš Halík, Olbram Zoubek, Lída Rakušanová, Jiřina Šiklová, Karel Čáslavský, Jiří Ruckl). In 1994, together with her husband, publicist Michael Třeštík, Třeštíková founded the “Man and Time Foundation” specializing in time-lapse projects and films reflecting time, its flow and the changes it brings (Rudolf the II and Prague/Rudolf II. a Praha, The Sweet Century/ Sladké století, People, I Love You/Lidé, mám vás rád!, Carmen Story/Carmen story, Something Like Happiness/Určitý způsob štěstí).
In 2001, she finished the first part of the free cycle of time-lapse films Women at the Turn of the Century/ Ženy na přelomu tisíciletí (portraits of opera singer Dagmar Pecková, singer Bára Basiková, young drug addict Katka and Roma intellectual Jarmila Balážová). Recently, she has devoted her attention to the problem of drug addiction (Women and Drugs, Drugs and Women/ Ženy a drogy, drogy a ženy; Trapped In, Trapped Out/ V pasti a stále v pasti). Since the fall of 2002, she works is a pedagogue at the documentary film department and as head of the realization workshop.
In 2007, she was for a brief time culture minister of the Czech Republic.
For her film René, she was awarded by the European Film Academy (EFA) the Prix Arte 2008 in the category of the documentary.


Zázrak (15’, CSSR, 1975)
Dvě jubilea Jana Zrzavého (18´, CSSR, 1976)
Dotek světla (14´, CSSR, 1979)
Japonská neděle (13´, CSSR, 1981)
Manželské etudy -TV seriál (6x50´, CSSR, 1987)

Z lásky (76´, CSSR, 1988)

Hledání cest (96´, CSSR, 1988)

Řekni mi něco o sobě - René (60´, CSFR, 1992)

Řekni mi něco o sobě - Láďa (42´, CZ, 1993)

GEN – Galerie elity národa - TV pořad (CZ, 1993)
Kašpar (50´, CZ, 1993)

Sladké hořkosti Lídy Baarové (30´, CZ, 1995)

GENUS – TV pořad (4 díly, CZ, 1995)
Vyloučeni z literatury (57´, CZ, 1997)

Sladké století (58´, CZ, 1997)
Lidé, mám vás rád! (56´, CZ, 1998)

Deset let v životě mladého muže (57´, CZ, 1999)
Výzva (53´, CZ, 1999)

Určitý způsob štěstí (51´, CZ, 1999)

Carmen Story (52´, CZ, 1999)

Ženy na přelomu tisíciletí-TV seriál (10x55´, CZ, 2000)

V pasti - Katka (58´, CZ, 2001)

Hitler, Stalin a já (56´, CZ, 2001)

Být Romkou (57´, CZ, 2001)
Být Romem (57´, CZ, 2001)

Pavel Tigrid - Evropan (57´, CZ, 2003)

Nebe nad Evropou (56´, CZ, 2003)

Má šťastná hvězda (57´, CZ, 2003)

Obsluhovala jsem Karla Čapka (28´, CZ, 2003)
Nebe nad Evropou (56´, CZ, 2003)

Když musíš, tak musíš?-TV seriál (10x27´, CZ, 2003) - režie epizody
Události Pavla Štechy (54´, CZ, 2004)

Nesdělitelné (55´, CZ, 2004)

Nebylo to marný (57´, CZ, 2004)

Manželské etudy po dvaceti letech - TV seriál (6x55´, CZ, 2005)

Marcela (82´, CZ, 2006)

René (90´, CZ, 2008)
Katka (90´, CZ, 2009)
Soukromý vesmír (83’, CZ, 2011)
24 – TV film (52’, CZ, 2011)
Život s Kašparem (89’, CZ, 2013)
Vojta Lavička: Nahoru a dolů (89’, CZ, 2013)
Mallory (101', CZ, 2015)
Doomed Beauty (95', CZ, 2015)


Doomed Beauty

Zkáza krásou (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 95 min

Film Doomed Beauty can be seen as a probe into the life of an extraordinary woman and a description of how a person can be doomed by dramatic events dealt by fate. Lida Baarova was a famous film star in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s and 1940s. Her dramatic fate was significantly shaped by the fact that she lived in Europe in the 20th century...



Expelled from Literature

Vyloučeni z literatury (Orig.) / 1997 / Czech Republic / 57 min

A documentary about the life stories of Czech catholic writers and poets who were unjustly sentenced in trials fabricated by the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. They were Zdeněk Rotrekl, Václav Renč, Josef Kostohryz, Václav Prokůpek and Jan Zahradníček. They were sentenced for life or received long sentences, were imprisoned, heavily interrogated and tortured. The hard times are recollected by the very authors, their families and friends.



Hitler, Stalin And I

Hitler, Stalin a já (Orig.) / 2001 / Czech Republic / 56 min

Heda Margolius-Kovaly’s fate is a story that sounds stranger than fiction.



I Served Karel Čapek

Obsluhovala jsem Karla Čapka (Orig.) / 2003 / Czech Republic / 28 min

Alžběta Motlová, née Venhodová, was a maid for Czech writer Karel Čapek. She was the one who helped Čapek photograph the dog Dášeňka by chasing her around the yard; she was the one who set the table for important guests such as Czech president Masaryk or his son Jan...




Katka (Orig.) / 2009 / Czech Republic / 90 min

“You bet on someone in the beginning of the process and then you wait and see what life does with them.” This is how Czech director Helena Trestikova explains her long-term documentaries. Following on from the European Film Academy Award winning RENE (2008), Trestikova brings us KATKA – 14 years in the life of a drug addict.



Life with Jester

Život s Kašparem (Orig.) / 2013 / Czech Republic / 85 min

For 23 years, Helena Třeštíková followed the story of actor and stage director Jakub Špalek. The first piece of footage was shot in Autumn 1989 when Jakub, then a theatre academy student, was actively involved in the Velvet Revolution.




Mallory (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 97 min

After unique time-lapse documentaries Marcela, René and Katka, Helena Třeštíková is coming with a new film in which she follows her main protagonist Mallory for 13 years. Mallory is determined to return to a normal life after many difficult mishaps...




Marcela (Orig.) / 2006 / Czech Republic / 82 min

Called Marriage Stories, the series of documentary films covers twenty-five years of Czech society by watching the lives of several married couples. The methodis what gives the films their causality as the story develops over a long period of time. The story of Marcela was especially moving as we witness the death of her daughter at the end...



Marriage Stories - Ivana and Pavel

Manželské etudy: Ivana a Pavel (Orig.) / 1987 / Czech Republic / 35 min

A twenty-one-year-old machine fitter and a one-year-older shop assistant have created a naturally harmonious, even archetypal model of a partner relationship.



Marriage Stories - Ivana and Václav

Manželské etudy: Ivana a Václav (Orig.) / 1987 / Czech Republic / 35 min

Architecture students Ivana (21) and Vašek (24) never once thought about whether and how family life and professional ambitions were to be combined...



Marriage Stories - Mirka and Antonin

Manželské etudy: Mirka a Antonín (Orig.) / 1987 / Czech Republic / 37 min

“We wanted to get married anyway and the child only made it quicker”. Perhaps it was too quick; seventeen-year-old Mirka just got apprenticed as a hairdresser while nineteen-year-old Antonín worked as a dispatcher.



Marriage Stories: Marcela and Jiří

Manželské etudy: Marcela a Jiří (Orig.) / 1987 / Czech Republic / 45 min

The twenty-year-old couple, a horse farmer and a telephone technician, married for love and even had a double wedding. However, they did not keep the biblical promise “where you go I will go” confirming the church ceremony held after the civil wedding for long. Their marriage broke up in a year, after the birth of their daughter Ivanka, for both objective and subjective reasons; to put it in the judge’s words...



Marriage Stories: Zuzana a Stanislav

Manželské etudy: Zuzana a Stanislav (Orig.) / 1987 / Czech Republic / 35 min

“You and I, that’s who we are…” such were the lyrics of their favourite band Olympic; however, Zuzana and Stanislav never managed to accomplish the “we”. They married out of necessity; she was still in her final year at grammar school, he was just a one-year-older electrical technician...



Marriage Stories: Zuzana and Vladimír

Manželské etudy: Zuzana a Vladimír (Orig.) / 1987 / Czech Republic / 35 min

Civil engineers Zuzana (23) and Vladimír (21) wanted to prove that “they can make it” both to themselves and to others. They built their home on their own and tried to fulfil their dreams as well. While Vladimír longed to study photography at the Academy of Performing Arts, Zuzana longed to have a child. They both succeeded, Zuzana even three times...



Master Class - Helena Třeštíková

Master class - Helena Třeštíková (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 65 min

What is it like to employ the exceptional long-term observational method brought to the world by internationally renowned Czech director Helena Třeštíková? What is the basis of the successes and pitfalls of following the individual life stories of seemingly common people for even dozens of years?



Memory of the 20th Century: Beyond Words

Paměť 20. století: Nesdělitelné (Orig.) / 2004 / Czech Republic / 55 min

A documentary film about the history of the Jewish family camp in Auschwitz, about its annihilation and the worst mass murder in the history of Czechoslovakia.



Memory of the 20th Century: It Was Worth Something

Paměť 20. století: Nebylo to marný (Orig.) / 2006 / Czech Republic / 57 min

The prominent Czech doctor Jaroslav Skála is the godfather of Czech alcohol detoxification treatment. He founded the Prague alcohol clinic at U Apolináře, as well as the first sobering-up station in the world...



Memory of the 20th Century: The events of Pavel Štecha

Paměť 20. století: Události Pavla Štechy (Orig.) / 2006 / Czech Republic / 57 min

Pavel Štecha is one of the leading Czech photographers and documentarists. His black-and-white photos from 1968-89 are well-known, but his photographs of ordinary life from the period are also of crucial importance...



Memory of the 20th Century: The Sky over Europe

Paměť 20. století: Nebe Nad Evropou (Orig.) / 2003 / Czech Republic / 56 min

Using archive footage and the recollections of Czech airmen and their wives, Helena Třeštíková pays tribute to their heroism and recalls how they were "rewarded" for this by the communist regime...



My Lucky Star

Má šťastná hvězda (Orig.) / 2003 / Czech Republic / 57 min

The story of a woman who survived the hell of several concentration camps. Zdenka Fantlová recounts her unique life story with its dramatic turns...



Pavel Tigrid - The European

Pavel Tigrid - Evropan (Orig.) / 2003 / Czech Republic / 57 min

A portrait of Pavel Tigrid, a Czech journalist and author. The film was made during the last days of his life.



Private Universe

Soukromý vesmír (Orig.) / 2012 / Czech Republic / 86 min

Honza was born in 1974 into the cheerless era of socialism in Czechoslovakia. At that time, his parents Jana and Petr lived in one room in the apartment of Jana's divorced mother and her widowed grandmother.


René 01


René (Orig.) / 2008 / Czech Republic / 90 min

20 years of a life spent mainly in prisons. A man who starts over again and again, fails, becomes a writer and keeps challenging the director constantly.



Something Like Happiness

Určitý způsob štěstí (Orig.) / 1999 / Czech Republic / 51 min

Lenka and Míra Hřib are a young married couple with two small children. They are both interested in ecology and sustainable life.



Tell Me Something About Yourself - Pavlína

Řekni mi něco o sobě – Pavlína (Orig.) / 1992 / Czech Republic / 44 min

Two years in the life of a young drug addict and her boyfriend...


Tell Me Something About Yourself- Láďa0

Tell Me Something About Yourself- Láďa

Řekni mi něco o sobě - Láďa (Orig.) / 1994 / Czech Republic / 60 min

The unique film cycle "Tell Me Something About Yourself" was started in the spring of 1989 by director H. Třeštíková. Utilizing her exceptional method in which she follows the subjects over a period of time, Třeštíková focuses on the youth correctional facility in Libkovice. The material was shot over a period of two to five years and captures not only the changes in the lives of the protagonists, but also transformations of the whole society.


Tell Me Something About Yourself- Martin0

Tell Me Something About Yourself- Martin

Řekni mi něco o sobě - Martin (Orig.) / 1994 / Czech Republic / 60 min

The unique film cycle "Řekni mi něco o sobě" was started in the spring of 1989 by director H. Třeštíková. Utilizing her exceptional method in which she follows the subjects over a period of time, Třeštíková focuses on the youth correctional facility in Libkovice. The material was shot over a period of two to five years and captures not only the changes in the lives of the protagonists, but also transformations of the whole society.


Tell Me Something About Yourself- René0

Tell Me Something About Yourself- René

Řekni mi něco o sobě - René (Orig.) / 1992 / Czech Republic / 60 min

The unique film cycle "Řekni mi něco o sobě" was started in the spring of 1989 by director H. Třeštíková. Utilizing her exceptional method in which she follows the subjects over a period of time, Třeštíková focuses on the youth correctional facility in Libkovice.



Ten Years in the Life of a Young Man

Deset let v životě mladého muže (Orig.) / 1999 / Czech Republic / 57 min

An observational documentary about Jakub Špalek and all his activities, victories and losses in the years 1989 to 1999.



The Call

Výzva (Orig.) / 1999 / Czech Republic / 53 min

A documentary film following several years in the life of Jan Potměšil who has become a very popular actor at an early age, representing the type of a young sporty intellectual. After a serious car crash in 1989, he ended up on a wheelchair...



Vojta Lavička: Ups and Downs

Vojta Lavička: Nahoru a dolů (Orig.) / 2013 / Czech Republic / 89 min

Longitudinal documentary film was shot for past 16 years and the main protagonist is Roman musician and activist Vojta Lavička. Vojta is a master in violin play, who focuses not only on music but also deals with problems of his origin Roman nationality.





David Čálek‘s successful documentary Climbing Higher about Czech climber Radek Jaroš, which won at the BANFF festival, is available for FREE streaming in the online documentary cinema DAFilms.com from December 8 to 11.

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- 8.12.2016 -

Winter Portion of Czech Documentary Films

Winter Portion of Czech Documentary Films

For 3.99 euro, you can get a selection of documentaries that entered Czech cinematic distribution in 2016 as well as access to another 1500 films from around the world. Dear friends, please, do not forget that you can give an ideal present not only to your intellectual friends but also to yourselves.

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- 7.12.2016 -

Unique films at FAMUFEST

Unique films at FAMUFEST

The 33rd edition of FAMUFEST, a competition display of films made by students of Prague’s FAMU, will be held on November 23 to 27 at Prague’s Letná District. Like in the past year, it will take place at Bio Oko, plus at the new venues of Studio Hrdinů and Café Jedna.

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- 22.11.2016 -

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