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Who will watch the watchman? Dalibor, or the key to uncle Tom's cabin  //  Kdo bude hlídat hlídače? Dalibor, aneb klíč k chaloupce strýčka Toma (Orig.)

DIR: Karel Vachek
2002 / Czech Republic / 220 min

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Recommend this film

The most characteristic theme of the film, whose actors are symbolically “imprisoned” in the space of Prague’s National Theatre, is that of subversive battles launched against any sort of establishment (in politics, scholarship, and culture) and the rules or “laws” that frequently work against them—rules that, of course, also offer a moral justification for battle. Vachek, in this film, is interested in figures who engage in these kinds of battles, a majority of whom have already suffered some kind of setback. At the same time, Vachek returns to the motif of theatre, which plays an important role in the first film of his tetralogy, New Hyperion, in connection with the concept that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” as well as with that OF the “pre-election comedy” and also the function of actors as a “national elite” in the events of November 1989. One of the new “Dalibors” of Czech historiography, Jan Tesař, concurs with all these ideas, and points, in Vachek’s film, to the meaning of the myth of the National Theatre, connecting it with the particular element of “theatricality” in Czech political events, in which “national happenings” stand in for real events. In critical periods, however, this leads to a leveling of political positions, against which “Dalibors,” representatives of extreme minority opinions, establish tragic limits…. We enter the suggestive metaphorical space of the National Theatre, where Vachek’s main actors are exhibited as a sort of group of “inmates,” enclosed in a prison that symbolizes the stereotypical positions of the majority and contemporary clichés. In a media context, this film is a pointed “act of direct democracy,” as was characterized in Vachek’s film What Is To Be Done?, in which space is given to characters and concepts that, because of their problematic nature or their inconvenience, have been systematically removed from public space. Nevertheless, we must consider whether or not we would truly like to approach theseconcepts. At the forefront of these, in Who Will Watch the Watchman, are themes of power, deviations from thenorm and their rationale, and the limits of contemporary political democracy as we know it. Thus, from another side, we return here to the utopic motif of New Hyperion and other of Vachek’s earlier projects.

www.karelvachek.cz

About

Director Karel Vachek
Screenplay Karel Vachek
Dir. of Photography Karel Slach
Editing Renáta Pařezová
Music Bedřich Smetana, různé skladby a písně
Sound Libor Sedláček
Duration 220 min
Year 2002
Country Czech Republic
Colour
Tags Czech society, essay, philosophical, political, society
Production Česká televize, PRODUKCE RADIM PROCHÁZKA
Česká televize
Address:  Kavčí hory
City:  140 70 Praha 4
Country:  Czech Republic
Web:  www.ceskatelevize.cz
E-mail:  ,
Phone:  261137106
Fax:  261216628

PRODUKCE RADIM PROCHÁZKA
Address:  Řehořova 54
City:  130 00 Praha 3 - Žižkov
Country:  Czech Republic
Web:  www.radimprochazka.com/
E-mail:  ,
Phone:  +420 222 212 041
Cell phone:  +420 603 862 161
Fax:  +420 222 212 041

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