Jiří Křižan: The Shadow
Added: April 11, 2018
Jiří Křižan’s novel Stín (The Shadow) is the powerfully autobiographical story of an orphaned country boy raised by his old-world, fair-minded grandfather interspersed with “half-witted” tales from alternative military service. It is a narrative that evokes an almost physical sense of what it is like to grow up on the margins of society as a stigmatised “class enemy” and second-class “former person” due to political tyranny. Jiří Křižan (1941–2010) was one of the most distinctive Czech screenwriters of the second half of the 20th century (e.g., Shadows of a Hot Summer, 1977, dir. František Vláčil; Signum laudis 1980, dir. Martin Hollý; Sekal Has to Die, 1998, dir. Vladimír Michálek) and a leading representative of the pre-Velvet Revolution opposition (initiator of a January 1989 campaign to have Václav Havel released from jail, founding member of Civic Forum).