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Documentary: Citizen Havel (Občan Havel)

(This article expired 20.03.2013.)

March 6, 2012, 7 pm - The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites you to the screening of the documentary Citizen Havel on March 6, at 7 pm, with introductory remarks by Hugh Agnew, Professor of History and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, and David Kramer, Executive Director of Freedom House.

Also, the Embassy has on view a special exhibition celebrating the life of former President of the Czech Republic Václav Havel by leading Czech photographer Tomki Němec.

The event is part of the Embassy’s project: Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World, dedicated to Miloš Forman and Václav Havel, running from February-May 2012.

A reception follows the screening.

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008 

R.S.V.P. to  czech_events@yahoo.com, by March 5, 2012
Please put “Citizen Havel” in the subject line.

Citizen Havel (Občan Havel)
Directed by: Pavel Koutecký, Miroslav Janek
, CZ, US, 2008, 120 min.

About the documentary

After the split of Czechoslovakia in 1992, former political dissident, leader of the Velvet Revolution, playwright, and essayist Václav Havel became the first president of a new country, the Czech Republic. Thus, it came to pass that a former enemy of the state was actually given the popular mandate to transform that state and its institutions. Such events are not commonplace.  From day one, he permitted his friend, filmmaker Pavel Koutecký, to be with him, to capture as much of it as possible, whether in the Prague Castle or around the world. 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 maintain a balance between public and personal life while bringing his nation out of its communist past and into a free, democratic future.

David Kramer

David Kramer became the Executive Director of Freedom House in October 2010. Prior to joining Freedom House, Kramer was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University. Kramer served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2008 to 2009. He also was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues. Previously, he served in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, and Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington. Before entering government service, Kramer was a Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century, Associate Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Assistant Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Kramer has also been a Lecturer in Russian Studies at Clark University, a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University and an analyst for the Christian Science Monitor Network during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Hugh Agnew

Professor Agnew earned an Honors B.A. in history from Queen's University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford. He came to George Washington University in 1988, after teaching at Queen's and the National University of Singapore. Professor Agnew teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Eastern Europe and the European history survey. He focuses on nationalism in the region, especially Czech nationalism. Among his publications are The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown (2004, translated into Czech 2008), Origins of the Czech National Renascence (1993), and numerous articles and chapters on aspects of Czech nationalism and national identity. He has appeared on international and local media including CNN, C-SPAN, Voice of America's Czech service, and Radio Prague. Professor Agnew has served as associate dean for Academic Programs and associate dean for Faculty Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Exhibition:

The selection of 41 black and white photographs reveals the humor and nuances of the life of former President Václav Havel. Some of the renowned pictures in the collection feature Havel being elected president, giving his memorable speech at the U.S. Congress, meeting the Rolling Stones, traveling to Poland, Spain and Egypt, as well as saying goodbye to citizens at the National Theater after 13 years in office.     

In the early 1990s, Němec served as the personal photographer for President Václav Havel. He published a volume of photographs that constitute a unique document of Havel’s first term in office. Němec has received wide acclaim for his works. He has twice been awarded prizes in the World Press Photo contest and his work has been published featured in numerous prestigous periodicals, including The New York Times, Time Magazine, among others.

Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World

The Embassy of the Czech Republic presents the project Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World, which is dedicated to lifelong friends and symbols of the fight for democracy and freedom: the renowned Czech film director Miloš Forman and former Czech and Czechoslovak President Václav Havel. Running from February-May 2012, the project incorporates documentary screenings, panel discussions, exhibitions, and lectures focusing on freedom of expression particularly in Burma, Belarus, and Cuba.

Mutual Inspirations Festival 2012-Milos Forman

The project is a prelude to the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2012-Miloš Forman which will take place September-October 2012. The festival will celebrate Oscar-winning, Czech director Miloš Forman’s 80th birthday, the best of Czech cinematography, and the accomplishments of the transatlantic film industry, featuring over 30 films and events in prestigious venues throughout the Washington area. In addition, the festival will incorporate concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and theatrical performances related to film, photography, and/or the multimedia realm.
Website: www.mutualinspirations.org