Occupation as the occupiers see it. Five Warsaw Pact countries occupied Czechoslovakia in 1968. 50 years later five film directors from these countries shot the stories of five soldiers who took part.
Stephan Komandarev, Marie Elisa Scheidt, Linda Dombrovszsky, Magdalena Szymków, Evdokia Moskvina, SK/CZ/Pl/ BG/Hu 2018, 130’
A tribute to the 108 people who were killed in Czechoslovakia during the 1968 invasion, the film tells the story of the young men who left their homes for a secret mission to save communism, but came to be hated by the people they´d come to rescue. Bored and confused pawns in the political strategy of the Warsaw Pact allies, they returned home as heroes only to be seen as occupiers when history was rewritten.
Mixing a road movie with a love letter, an investigative documentary, re-enactments and hitherto unseen archive footage, the film reveals personal stories and explores the constantly changing perspectives on historic events. We meet a Russian general and his ex-comrades reliving the experience of their journey from Odessa to Prague, fall for newlyweds whose intimate love letters are intercut with reports from the Sopoty Music Festival, discover the unknown role of 16,000 East German soldiers waiting on the Czechoslovak border for a mission which never comes, and get acquainted with the young Hungarians who, while playing soldiers, find love and friendship in a local Slovak village. And there is the mysterious death of Sergeant Nikolov Tsekov, who left his post and never returned… THE LAST MISSION OF GENERAL ERMAKOV - Evdokia Moskovina, RussiaRED ROSE (FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE IN THE TIME OF OCCUPATION) - Linda Dombrowszky, HungaryI'M WRITING TO YOU, MY LOVE - Magdalena Szymkow, PolandVOICES IN THE FOREST - Marie Elise Scheidt, GermanyAN UNECESSARY HERO – Stephan Komandarev, Bulgaria
Tickets: £7 + booking fee
Organised by Czech Centre London, kindly supported by the Embassy of Czech Republic in London.