Citizen Havel

The Unbearable Lightness of Being President

"I was only trying to do the right thing.  I had not planned for these various things to have happened but I never doubted that we would succeed.  All I ever wanted to do was the right thing."  - Vaclav Havel

A leader of the Velvet Revolution, playwright and essayist Václav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia in December 1989. When the Czech Republic was established in 1993 he became its first president. He was re-elected in 1998, serving until 2003.

It's not every day a former enemy of the state ends up in its palace so, from day one, he permitted his friend, filmmaker Pavel Koutecky, to be with him, to capture as much of it as possible.  The result is "Citizen Havel", a feature-length documentary of never-before-seen footage that provides an intimate look at a man thrust into the spotlight of international politics and celebrity, trying to bring his nation out of its communist past and into a free, democratic future. With a supporting cast that includes, among others, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, Lou Reed, and the Rolling Stones, the film delivers its unique subject in a manner certain to engage and delight citizens the world over.

"The worst thing about being a president is that I have no time to listen to music.  Only the presidential tune..." - Vaclav Havel

Director: Pavel Koutecký, Miroslav Janek
Cinematography: Stano Slušný
Sound: Daniel Němec, Viktor Ekrt 
Editing: Tonička Janková
Dramaturgy: Hana Jemelíková
Runnig time: 120 min
Year of production: 2008
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