Spanning over two decades, Havel is an absorbing biopic chronicling the early life of Václav Havel, as he evolves from humble playwright shaken by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, to revolutionary leader, political prisoner, and eventually to the new president of the Czech Republic following the Velvet Revolution in 1989. It is the story of a man who, when confronted by increasing limits on freedom in his own beloved country, is forced to confront his own cowardice and rise up against a brutal government. Portrayed with understated ease by Viktor Dvořák, the film captures Havel’s charm, intellect, and the intricate workings of his character and morality, as well as the women who have shaped his life. Resisting hagiography, the film explores Havel’s personal weaknesses—especially with regards to his rather untidy romantic life—as well as his fears and near despair. Director Slávek Horák deftly balances the political and the personal, using artistic flourishes to highlight the thin line between the political and the theatrical stage.
Viktor Dvořák, Anna Geislerová, Martin Hofmann, Barbora Seidlová, Stanislav Majer, Adrian Jastraban, Jiří Bartoška
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Slávek Horák was born in 1975 in Zlín, Czech Republic. He studied directing at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 1995, he worked as a second assistant director on Jan Sverak’s Kolya, which won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. After that, he directed commercials all over the world for 20 years.
In 2015 he wrote, directed, and produced his debut feature film, Home Care, which represented Czech Republic at the Academy and Golden Globe Awards in 2016. Home Care won awards at Phoenix Film Festival, Heartland International Film Festival, and Finále Plzeň Film Festival, among others.
Home Care (2015)