The documentary Pot a slzy Pražského jara (The Sweat and Tears of the Prague Spring Festival), subtitled Opus 2, is the last completed film by the late director Pavel Koutecký. It captures two contrasting worlds: the story of young musicians starting out is intertwined with portraits of world-renowned masters. _ The film proceeds along four lines. In the first, the conductor Charles Mackerras is rehearsing Janáček’s Taras Bulba with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In the second we follow the transport of a unique four-tonne piano. The third follows a dozen young musicians during an international trombone competition. The fourth is a portrait of Garrick Ohlsson, and among the strongest moments in this part of the film is the lengthy shot of the soloist’s face during a concert. _ The director worked on the project for several years during the preparation and through the duration of the Prague Spring Music Festival each year. Using methods of observation he aims to break down the stereotypes of the image of the world of classical music and convey an idea of that world to the public through a mosaic that combines elements of the grand and lofty world of music and elements of its realistic, down-to-earth side. _ Koutecký engages in a process of quietly observation and gradually coming to know the object of observation, patiently remaining in the background and waiting for situations that, together with informal interviews, are capable of conveying an idea of the colourful festival world. _ The third but never completed Opus film was intended to capture the performance of two compositions created just for the Prague Spring festival and to observe the reactions of the creators of the works manifested in the musical score’s transformation into live music.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.