2008 / Czech Republic / 90min

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.
In 1989, Helena Treštíková starts to film juvenile delinquent René. For almost 20 years, she follows the rhythm of his life, most of which is spent in prisons, interrupted only by brief stretches of freedom. 20 years during which epoch-making social upheavals take place, systems, regimes and governments change – depicted by televised images that reach René’s cell. The immobility and absence of pace “inside” is juxtaposed with a restless “outside”, where René roams squares and train stations and takes trains, without arriving anywhere. It is the filmmaker herself who is the connection between inside and outside, having become the only reliable constant in her protagonist’s life. A contradictory and shifting relationship reflected by René in his letters to Treštíková. Read by him, they add a second level to the film where the filmmaker practically becomes the second character. René, whom she helps to become a successful writer over the years, turns out to be an equal but difficult partner. He demands attention as rigorously as he questions the relationship between filmmaker and protagonist again and again. Her attempts to turn him into the co-author of the film are part of the story. A story of overwhelming power that goes straight to where it hurts.

(Catalogue DOK Leipzig)



  • Original title
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Helena Třeštíková
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Martin Kubala, Petr Pešek, Stano Slušný, Václav Smolík, Marek Dvorák, Ondrej Belica, Miroslav Soucek, Vlastimil Hamerník
  • Editing
    Jakub Hejna
  • Music
    Tadeáš Vercák
  • Sound
    Vladimír Nahodil, Pavel Sádek, Jan Valouch, Václav Hejduk, Miroslav Šimcík, Štepán Mamula, Daniel Nemec, Zbynek Mikulík, Petr Provazník, Jan Valouch
  • Duration
    90 min
  • Year
  • Country
    • Czech Republic
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Audio Tracks
  • Subtitles
  • Production
    Česká televize
    Kavčí hory
    140 70 Praha 4
    Czech Republic
    tel: 261137106
    fax: 261216628
    Negativ, s.r.o.
    Ostrovní 30
    110 00 Praha
    Czech Republic
    tel: (+420) 224933755
  • Distribution
    AEROFILMS s.r.o
    Vodičkova 41
    110 00 Praha 1
    Czech Republic
    tel: +420 224 947 566
    4b Wentworth Street
    E1 7TF London
    United Kingdom
    tel: 0044 (0) 207 247 0238
    cell: ---
    fax: ---


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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.