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Citizen Havel Is Rolling Barrels

Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel

Next week Czech cinemas will present a new documentary film "Citizen Havel Is Rolling Barrels" (film director is Jan Novak) dedicated to creating of Vaclav Havel’s play “Audience” and illustrating the state of things in Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1970s, rather grim and cruel period of the country’s history.

Those days Vaclav Havel, one of the most well-known and dedicated Czech dissidents, used to work
in a brewery located in Trutnov, East Bohemia, as a humble assistant whose was to roll beer barrels. This brewery and people who used to work there inspired Mr. Havel to create an one-act play named “Audience”.

The documentary "Citizen Havel Is Rolling Barrels" features some recorded episodes of the above mentioned play as well as fragments of interviews with former police officers and opposing them dissidents. Some brewery employees of that time and famous and famous actors also contributed while making the documentary.

The film describes the method used by secret police officers while interrogating political prisoners and features some testimonies by StB (communist secret police) employees elucidating what used to drive them and motivate them to be enrolled to this organization. Also the documentary tells about theater plays staged at private flats and apartments and “smugglers” who secretly brought anti-communist books and brochures into the country.

Photo: by ČTK (

Date: 08/05/2009

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