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1989: We Want to Breathe – A Film by Karel Strachota

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: March 4, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

The story of Pavel and Renata mainly takes place in Teplice. They wish to live freely, in accordance with their ideals. However, the repressive Communist regime – for whom they represent "defective youth" – meddles in their lives. Teplice, a once beautiful spa town nicknamed Little Paris, is devastated, as is the entire north-western industrial border region often shrouded in thick smog. However, it is also a bastion of punk and alternative culture. The documentary, based on archival footage and period materials, is a mosaic of authentic situations, while the protagonists are based on real individuals. The film culminates with the demonstrations against catastrophic environmental pollution that began in Teplice a week before 17 November 1989 – and turned into political protests. So the Velvet Revolution kind of started in the North: people wanted to breathe.

A debate with director Karel Strachota and Miroslav Wanek, who lived through those events, will be moderated by Ivana Vránková.


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