After the "Velvet Revolution" of 1989, a number of previously taboo subjects opened up to Czech documentary filmmaking. One of these was the theme of the post-war resettlement of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia. Director Drahomira Vihanova made a documentary portrait of "unresettled" German, Eimann, who is almost ninety years old. He now lives alone in the Orlicke mountains. The fate of this man and his family was strongly impacted by the Second World War and by the postwar political situation. The family remained in Bohemia and Eimann, as a German soldier and Russian POW, could not return home for several years. After his return in the mid-fifties, the new reality of totalitarian regime was awaiting him. Vihanova has raised the lifestory of this man above historical particulars. She captures the old man in his daily routine activities, essential for his traditional way of life. She allows her protagonist to speak not only of the past and the suffering which life has dealt him, but also of his relationship with God and other people. Through the great humility with which Eimann expresses himself, the film reflects the lot of these few Germans who stayed here after the war, and it also reflects the fate of those who were forced to leave. The director, by describing this unique fate, in a life permeated with a spirit of reconciliation, attempts to find for herself (and for the viewer) an answer to the question of the meaning of life. It finds him in humble surrender and wise reconciliation to the course of life where this simple man, restrained by history, understands his lot.
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.