The 45th Karlovy Vary festival will present a complete retrospective of the films of distinguished Czech director and thinker Karel Vachek.
The filmmaker, who turns 70 this year, studied at Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU), and his graduation work Moravian Hellas (1963) had a difficult turn with the public because of its nonconformist character. In 1968 he shot Elective Affinities focusing on the participants of Prague Spring.
Vachek returned to documentaries after the revolution of 1989, winning the prestigious Berlinale Camera a year later. Vachek’s seminal work of the period is the “Little Capitalist” tetralogy, which focuses on the newly forming society in free Czechoslovakia. No less significant is Vachek’s educational work, reflected in the films of the foremost Czech documentarists of the young generation, including Filip Remunda, Vít Klusák, and Martin MareÄek. Vachek’s distinctive worldview can also be seen in his book The Theory of Matter.
Foreign audiences are currently discovering Vachek’s work, among them students of Harvard and Yale Universities who have recently organized screenings of his films. Karlovy Vary visitors will have the unique opportunity to see both his groundbreaking work from the 1960s and his films from the past decade – from New Hyperion or Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood to the philosophical documentaries of the “Little Capitalist” tetralogy.
Karel Vachek’s longtime collaborator, director of photography Karel Slach, one of the top personalities of the Czech documentary school, will also celebrate his 70th birthday this year. Karel Vachek will hold a master class at Karlovy Vary where he and producer Radim Procházka will discuss the director’s just-finished documentary Obscurantist and His Lineage.