Martin Bouda: Prague Spring on Television - Seeds and Aftermath
Marco Abel, Chair of the Department of English, introduces Martin Bouda as he delivers his speech, "Prague Spring on Television - Seeds and Aftermath" for Prague Spring 50.
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 10:30 - 11:45 am
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[00:00:13.610]I'm Marco Abel chair of the Department
[00:00:18.029]of English it's my great pleasure to
[00:00:20.430]introduce our next speaker Martin Bouda.
[00:00:22.710]Before doing so allow me to say that
[00:00:25.920]it has been a delight to attend this
[00:00:28.230]wonderful event all week long and I want
[00:00:30.660]to thank James Le Sueur and his team for
[00:00:33.059]all the hard work he put into pulling
[00:00:35.280]all of this together it's really a
[00:00:36.450]terrific and unique event so thanks
[00:00:38.969]James I'm thrilled about this being
[00:00:41.820]German myself born in 1969 I have a
[00:00:45.300]long-standing interest in the so-called
[00:00:46.920]long 1968 a term that by now has become
[00:00:50.789]scully commonplace to reflect the fact
[00:00:53.190]that what we usually call simply 68 was
[00:00:56.760]both a global event and occurred in more
[00:00:58.859]years than just 1968 some scholars now
[00:01:02.879]suggest that 68 really names a period
[00:01:05.459]lasting for about two decades from the
[00:01:08.760]Hungarian Uprising in 56 to the
[00:01:11.040]so-called German hot autumn in of 1977
[00:01:14.030]in between we find the events around the
[00:01:16.770]civil rights movement in the US
[00:01:18.270]including the Free Speech Movement at
[00:01:19.860]Berkeley the events of June 2nd 1967 in
[00:01:23.189]Berlin the actions of the autonomy
[00:01:25.290]movement in Italy in the late 60s the
[00:01:27.930]tragedy in Mexico City in the lead-up to
[00:01:30.000]the Olympics there in 1968 the events
[00:01:32.790]throughout the sixties in Japan that are
[00:01:34.770]culminated in the famous standoff at a
[00:01:36.689]sama lodge in 1972 the overthrow of
[00:01:39.630]Salvador Allende in 73 and of course the
[00:01:42.450]events in Paris in May and June 1968
[00:01:45.829]more such event could be surely named
[00:01:48.630]including for example Algeria's
[00:01:50.340]anti-colonial struggle that led to its
[00:01:52.680]liberation from French dominance and of
[00:01:54.780]course Mao's Cultural Revolution while
[00:01:57.840]each of these movements have their
[00:01:59.520]distinct national characteristics that
[00:02:01.829]is they respond to specific national
[00:02:03.780]circumstances that are singular to those
[00:02:05.670]national histories scholars of late have
[00:02:09.300]been working to establish significant
[00:02:12.300]connections among these national events
[00:02:15.150]as well tracing out how for example the
[00:02:17.640]civil rights movement or the resisting
[00:02:19.920]tupamaros in Uruguay impacted the
[00:02:22.890]emerging radicalized German student
[00:02:24.870]movement after the shooting of Bennett
[00:02:26.580]owners org On June 2nd 1967 at a rally
[00:02:30.270]protesting the visit to West Berlin by
[00:02:33.150]the Shah of Persia however at times it's
[00:02:36.840]ironically also those very transnational
[00:02:39.030]connections that mark significant
[00:02:40.590]national differences such as for example
[00:02:42.810]the visit of who dedushka the famous
[00:02:45.150]leader of the West German students to
[00:02:47.250]Prague in April 1968 under the auspices
[00:02:50.970]of a dialogue between Marxists and
[00:02:52.800]Christians organized by the philosopher
[00:02:54.900]Milan much of it and I apologize for my
[00:02:57.260]pronunciations here yet that visit was
[00:02:59.970]largely a failure not least due to a
[00:03:02.430]fundamental misunderstanding on dojaquez
[00:03:04.380]part for what his peers in Prague wanted
[00:03:07.290]was simply not the kind of socialism
[00:03:09.090]that dooshka and the radicalized West
[00:03:11.010]German students advocated for at the
[00:03:13.290]time or as an eyewitness argued quote
[00:03:16.850]andhakas perfectly organized speech
[00:03:19.290]there was no place for any kind of joke
[00:03:22.140]or any human weakness were it not for
[00:03:25.560]his critical rationality you would
[00:03:28.110]spontaneously conclude that he was a
[00:03:30.030]demagogue a zealot and what's more a
[00:03:33.530]German in short an all-too-familiar
[00:03:36.570]figure before generously adding but that
[00:03:39.930]would be unfair because he is incredibly
[00:03:41.970]sincere ten years later doctor himself
[00:03:44.700]reflected on the blindness of Western
[00:03:46.709]leftism in the face of Czech renewal and
[00:03:48.959]a belief that the only kind of
[00:03:50.370]imperialism that existed had to be
[00:03:52.260]American quote I haven't much to say
[00:03:54.840]about may 68 in France first because I
[00:03:58.020]was in the hospital at the time he'd
[00:03:59.459]been shot by a neo-nazi but mainly
[00:04:01.530]because in retrospect the important
[00:04:03.330]event of 68 wasn't Paris but Prague at
[00:04:06.480]the time we just couldn't see it end
[00:04:09.360]quote one doesn't have to agree with
[00:04:12.150]everything dutch-crow says here to
[00:04:13.709]appreciate the fundamental point that
[00:04:15.420]the Prague Spring was misunderstood in
[00:04:17.279]the West not least by the political left
[00:04:19.589]and especially the left students indeed
[00:04:22.560]even to this day and I'm saying this as
[00:04:24.570]someone who teaches the long
[00:04:26.130]about 68 in the context of international
[00:04:27.630]cinema it's often difficult to
[00:04:30.150]understand that the Scent uprising
[00:04:32.250]resistance and revolution do not have an
[00:04:34.530]inherent directional vector left-right
[00:04:38.190]or middle let alone one that is always
[00:04:40.350]the same all politics is local after all
[00:04:43.350]no matter how transnational they may
[00:04:45.720]also be I think that many films and
[00:04:48.690]television shows about 68 from across
[00:04:50.700]the world testified to this weather as
[00:04:53.220]witnesses ie films or TV that were made
[00:04:55.980]in close temporal and spacial proximity
[00:04:57.750]to the events or as historiography us ie
[00:05:01.170]films or TV that were made at some or
[00:05:04.110]even considerable historical if not also
[00:05:06.120]spatial difference and weave into its
[00:05:08.700]representational nexus not just the
[00:05:11.070]actual events but also the history of
[00:05:13.230]previous representations and they have
[00:05:15.540]erased the question of how to represent
[00:05:17.370]the events and how to respond to those
[00:05:19.950]prior representations that have
[00:05:21.630]inevitably shaped our memory of those
[00:05:24.660]events given this
[00:05:26.670]I'm truly intrigued by the work our
[00:05:28.500]speaker engages in that is the work he
[00:05:31.290]is best known for in the czech republic
[00:05:32.460]namely his work on the history of Czech
[00:05:34.590]dubbing in addition to his duties as an
[00:05:36.900]archivist of czech television martin
[00:05:39.600]buddha has been working with czech
[00:05:41.640]television in one form or another since
[00:05:43.710]graduating in 2006 with a degree in
[00:05:45.840]information and librarian science from
[00:05:47.880]the Charles University in Prague since
[00:05:50.430]then he's worked at the Janacek Academy
[00:05:53.280]of Music and Performing Arts Library in
[00:05:55.470]his home term of Bruno and through the
[00:05:57.900]EU screen project in 2010 to 2016 has
[00:06:01.440]coordinated the promotion of Czech
[00:06:03.450]television by using almost 1300 curated
[00:06:06.930]videos to explore Czechs rich and
[00:06:09.360]diverse cultural history via television
[00:06:11.850]content in 2008 he began his work at the
[00:06:15.570]Czech television archives where he has
[00:06:17.670]supervised the audiovisual archives and
[00:06:19.980]has been involved in their digitization
[00:06:21.900]and reconstruction and since 2017 and
[00:06:25.170]online archival publication projects
[00:06:27.500]Buddha has been actively promoting Czech
[00:06:30.150]TV history and its archives through
[00:06:33.030]international presentations including in
[00:06:35.190]Stockholm Bucharest and Paris where he
[00:06:37.590]participated in a seminar that was
[00:06:39.840]1968 in the media and myself spent last
[00:06:44.280]September a few days in Potsdam Germany
[00:06:46.139]to attend the inaugural version of a new
[00:06:48.300]Film Festival they are called moving
[00:06:49.680]history its topic was German TV and
[00:06:52.169]cinemas representation of the West
[00:06:53.790]German radical left-wing terrorist group
[00:06:56.580]RAF from the late 60s through the
[00:06:59.220]present while had seen a good number of
[00:07:01.440]those films before it was a real
[00:07:03.180]privilege to see and indeed discover
[00:07:05.360]others that aren't available in
[00:07:07.800]commercial form and had to be excavated
[00:07:10.040]from the German film and television
[00:07:12.330]archives seeing those films most
[00:07:15.060]decidedly enriched my understanding not
[00:07:17.460]just of the RAF in its history but also
[00:07:19.889]the history of German film and TV and
[00:07:21.930]its attempts to make sense of 68 thus
[00:07:25.320]I'm really excited about Martin buddas
[00:07:27.210]presentation entitled products spring on
[00:07:29.760]television seats and aftermath for it
[00:07:32.700]promises at least to me to offer us a
[00:07:35.550]fascinating archive of view of both
[00:07:37.740]Prague 68 and how Czech television
[00:07:40.340]responded to and shaped how those events
[00:07:43.520]subsequently percolated through Czech
[00:07:45.960]society if not beyond please help me
[00:07:48.510]welcome Martin Buda
[00:07:53.300]My presentation will be slightly different
[00:07:55.440]from the previous ones because it's based
[00:07:58.619]on some audiovisual materials,
[00:08:01.190]and I have also a lot of slides there.
[00:08:04.850]So hopefully we'll make it on time.
[00:08:09.560]What I did for this presentation was to
[00:08:12.860]go to the archives of Czech Television
[00:08:16.050]and I was trying to find
[00:08:18.450]some programs, some samples of programs
[00:08:23.670]what were important for the whole process of Prague Spring.
[00:08:29.220]And I would like to prove that
[00:08:31.800]Czechoslovakia Television then
[00:08:34.610]wasn't only reflecting all the changes in the society,
[00:08:39.090]but it was also playing an active role
[00:08:44.918]on triggering all the changes
[00:08:54.190]So let's go.
[00:08:57.920]I will start in the 1950s.
[00:09:02.400]The Czechoslovak Television started to broadcast
[00:09:05.073]in 1st May 1953 during starnist era.
[00:09:10.760]And in the same year there was also
[00:09:14.750]censorship started by establishing
[00:09:18.030]the main Administration of Press Supervision.
[00:09:20.940]So television has been, since its very beginning,
[00:09:24.000]under control and under pressure of authorities.
[00:09:31.990]But despite this, in the late '50s,
[00:09:37.050]there were more freedom given to creators
[00:09:41.060]because they managed to create satirical programs,
[00:09:46.516](mumbles) "Don't be angry, Man"
[00:09:49.140]that investigated some shortcomings of everyday life,
[00:09:54.560]and it was first really critical program
[00:09:59.040]and also first very controversial program.
[00:10:02.700]And the result was real outrage of the communist party
[00:10:08.150]and many creators were forced to leave TV.
[00:10:14.860]So television was recovering from this purge
[00:10:19.908]until the mid 1960s.
[00:10:25.050]Important moment was when new
[00:10:30.330]Director General was appointed in 1963,
[00:10:34.420]and this person was Jiri Pelikan
[00:10:37.575]who saw the changes in the society,
[00:10:42.760]and he decided to change the institution
[00:10:51.260]which was considered to be,
[00:10:54.120]at the time, most conservative of all media.
[00:10:58.660]And he wanted to give more,
[00:11:03.820]more room for TV makers to express
[00:11:09.560]their real opinions.
[00:11:14.040]He also started some international cooperation,
[00:11:18.620]not only with East European televisions,
[00:11:21.640]but also the Western European televisions.
[00:11:24.480]So he was often criticized for this approach.
[00:11:33.038]Among seeds of the Prague Spring itself,
[00:11:36.366]among the political events,
[00:11:39.810]the most important was abolishing the censorship
[00:11:44.910]during February 1968,
[00:11:48.230]and also appointment of Alexander Dubcek
[00:11:52.320]and Ludvik Svodboda to the role of President
[00:11:58.676]and General Secretary of the Communist Party.
[00:12:03.760]From both events we keep some footage in our archives,
[00:12:08.060]so I'll just play very shortly a clip from...
[00:12:20.715]It should play out.
[00:12:24.881](voice overpowered by video)
[00:12:55.692]I will skip it because we have two other videos
[00:13:04.380]So the role of Czechoslovak TV rapidly changed
[00:13:08.680]from this time.
[00:13:12.610]Czechoslovak TV tried to
[00:13:18.930]discuss new topics that
[00:13:23.020]were not allowed to be discussed before,
[00:13:25.900]like for example the role of the Communist Party
[00:13:29.510]in Czechoslovakia or the role of women in society,
[00:13:36.210]and also some cases from the '50s
[00:13:41.373]that were forbidden to be discussed before
[00:13:45.120]were discussed like, for example,
[00:13:48.730]strange circumstances of that of
[00:13:51.560]former minister (mumbles).
[00:13:56.693]I recall this era to be a golden era
[00:13:59.940]of current affair programs.
[00:14:05.576]I chose some very crucial series for this time.
[00:14:12.930]I would emphasize these two series:
[00:14:16.960]probes and public affair.
[00:14:19.350]They were trying to be investigative
[00:14:23.070]and too critical to shortcomings of society;
[00:14:31.970]as well as some reportage programs,
[00:14:35.000]Nosy Camera and Czechoslovakia Expedition;
[00:14:38.820]and a very important series was Face to Face series
[00:14:46.290]which gave some room for significant
[00:14:50.720]personalities of cultural and political life
[00:14:54.220]to make comments on some topics.
[00:15:01.610]When I was going through our archives,
[00:15:06.620]I bumped into or came across
[00:15:08.920]two very interesting program that was made in 1967,
[00:15:16.520]and it was broadcast in February '68.
[00:15:19.300]And I would call this current affair drama
[00:15:22.120]because it's not,
[00:15:26.826]it's fictional, it's actually drama
[00:15:28.730]but it's kind of critical TV play
[00:15:33.970]about social protectionism and allelism.
[00:15:40.940]I would just say (mumbles) of the story,
[00:15:45.780]some residents of communist official
[00:15:50.650]was electrified instead of rich,
[00:16:00.348]and also a journalist who pointed to this
[00:16:04.930]is under pressure to deny it.
[00:16:07.770]And this program is important because for the first time,
[00:16:13.460]a communist is shown here as a bad guy
[00:16:18.240]because the main villain here is
[00:16:23.570]secretary of district national committee named Stoklasa.
[00:16:29.657]And we may see some sample where this guy
[00:16:33.870]is forced to explain the whole affair
[00:16:39.250]about trification in front of the people of the village.
[00:18:58.260]Okay, now it may seem to be funny
[00:19:00.699]and naive, but at the time it was quite revolutionary
[00:19:07.030]because it showed the top rated communist
[00:19:13.640]to be a really bad guy.
[00:19:19.041]Another very important series was Nosy Camera.
[00:19:21.960]As I mentioned before, it became a phenomenon
[00:19:25.320]in '62 when many creative journalists
[00:19:30.250]came to do crew.
[00:19:32.350]And there were some parts that we very
[00:19:40.870]significant, very controversial.
[00:19:44.130]I would mention one of them.
[00:19:46.920]It was the part that was broadcast in March '64,
[00:19:52.590]the Choice of Profession.
[00:19:54.460]And it was investigated story of a girl
[00:20:02.150]who was dismissed from school
[00:20:04.090]due to her class origin, inappropriate class origin.
[00:20:09.160]And after it was broadcast it caused
[00:20:15.040]outrage to the party and it was called
[00:20:19.370]to be anti-state program,
[00:20:21.660]and they even organized some protest resolutions
[00:20:27.150]in the factors, even workers.
[00:20:30.550]And makers were under risk of being fired.
[00:20:38.610]But Yuri Parikan, the director,
[00:20:42.510]stood up for them.
[00:20:44.930]But the chief of the editorial board
[00:20:49.060]was given an ultimatum,
[00:20:51.570]either he would read a denial on TV
[00:20:54.890]or the girl and her brother
[00:20:58.520]wouldn't be allowed to study at a school
[00:21:01.693]and her father would be fired.
[00:21:04.170]So the chief of the editorial board
[00:21:07.870]read this denial, but according to officials
[00:21:12.540]it wasn't truly felt.
[00:21:14.550]So the father was fired from work.
[00:21:20.890]And another very important episode was Dispute.
[00:21:25.810]It was kind of docudrama.
[00:21:27.310]It was staged trial between two generations.
[00:21:32.364]One one side there was the generation of
[00:21:37.150]people who were young in the 1950s,
[00:21:39.960]and on the other side there was a new generation
[00:21:43.440]of young people who were born after World War II or during.
[00:21:49.650]And the young generation sued the previous generation
[00:21:53.070]for betrayal of the socialism.
[00:21:55.810]They demanded socialism free from
[00:22:01.130]empty phrases, demagogue and so on.
[00:22:04.720]And it was also very controversial.
[00:22:07.840]And it continues in another part.
[00:22:12.030]It was called Jury.
[00:22:16.555]It was inspired by 12 Angry Men, a famous Hollywood movie.
[00:22:25.278]It was arranged as kind of process
[00:22:31.520]when the jurors should decide lawsuits
[00:22:34.750]from the previous result.
[00:22:37.270]And among the jurors,
[00:22:41.170]there were a lot of
[00:22:43.680]very famous, significant persons
[00:22:46.710]of then political and culture life.
[00:22:52.430]For example they were famous travelers,
[00:22:56.740]Jiri Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund.
[00:22:59.360]And I may play you a sample
[00:23:04.988]from which you fill find out
[00:23:08.100]why this program was banned.
[00:23:10.710]It was made in '66,
[00:23:12.840]but it wasn't allowed to be broadcast at all.
[00:23:15.340]It was broadcast in March '68.
[00:25:20.893]And so that's very controversial in '66.
[00:25:26.138]And there was another interesting episode.
[00:25:30.230]It's called Control.
[00:25:34.370]It's a TV crew visited the Mirov Prison
[00:25:38.930]and they not only investigated living conditions
[00:25:42.960]of current prisoners,
[00:25:44.430]but also searched for some cases of illegal beating
[00:25:50.120]of political prisoners in 1950s.
[00:25:55.360]It was quite revolutionary because for the first time
[00:25:59.457]the television focused on some crimes of the 1950s.
[00:26:04.650]So I may play some sample from a confrontation
[00:26:09.590]between then guard, Smarzek, whose name was Smarzek,
[00:26:14.338]who was beating the prisoners,
[00:26:16.140]and former, particular prisoner Otomi Bolzek.
[00:26:22.020]So it's a very emotive discussion.
[00:27:58.735]And so in this program there was also
[00:28:00.970]a final debate which brought very brave conclusions
[00:28:05.810]let's say for the time.
[00:28:08.666]So maybe just very, very small sample.
[00:28:39.907]But he wasn't released because of upcoming events.
[00:28:46.480]The final episode from this series I chose is
[00:28:52.070]episode called A Testimony for Warning.
[00:28:54.710]And a journalist, Cabanatua, investigated
[00:28:59.589]the case of The Great Trotskyist Council.
[00:29:04.588]It was a political trial in 1954
[00:29:08.580]that followed the trial with anti-state conspiracy
[00:29:13.550]centered around Rudolf Slansky.
[00:29:18.030]And the main victims,
[00:29:24.130]there were some economists
[00:29:27.480]and characters of enterprises.
[00:29:31.760]And we may see some testimony,
[00:29:33.610]very emotional testimony of a wife of
[00:29:39.799]one of the victims of this process, Mr. Rok,
[00:29:44.780]whose wife is emotionally explaining
[00:29:49.850]the circumstances of his arrest.
[00:29:53.400]And at the time Mr. Rok was already,
[00:29:59.970]had passed away.
[00:30:03.470]He passed away shortly after he was released from prison.
[00:30:08.615]So let's see.
[00:33:15.260]So this was broadcast in June '68,
[00:33:17.840]so they made it just a month before the Soviets came here.
[00:33:28.910]Another very important series was Czechoslovak Expedition.
[00:33:35.741]It was a 50-part series,
[00:33:36.640]and TV crews were traveling around the country
[00:33:41.730]and they were making open documents
[00:33:45.500]about ordinary life of ordinary people.
[00:33:48.740]And they were focusing on real problems of people,
[00:33:54.460]and were showing them on TV very openly.
[00:33:59.700]So we may see a sample from our program
[00:34:04.190]that was broadcast in April '69.
[00:34:07.280]And this reportage shows
[00:34:12.920]some housing problems in Prague.
[00:35:43.860]So it was showing disappointment of socialist people
[00:35:47.830]like different from the official propaganda.
[00:35:53.020]There is another series, Probes,
[00:35:57.270]only three parts were released.
[00:35:59.620]And it was also focused on some imperfections
[00:36:05.000]of everyday life.
[00:36:07.250]And the series was re-released in 1988
[00:36:12.620]after perestroika was launched in Soviet Union.
[00:36:17.050]And this is also very interesting,
[00:36:20.130]but due to the time we have to skip some samples.
[00:36:27.080]Another series I had mentioned before
[00:36:30.570]is Public Affair.
[00:36:32.630]It was a very special series because
[00:36:35.970]for the first time it was given a chance,
[00:36:39.120]real people in the streets,
[00:36:41.150]to express their opinion on any topic.
[00:36:47.650]So it was really a festival moment for television
[00:36:52.440]because they could freely express on TV.
[00:36:58.470]Even this series had a controversial episode.
[00:37:03.210]In '67 there was an episode about emigration broadcast,
[00:37:09.130]and due to this affair,
[00:37:13.337]the series was stopped for six months.
[00:37:15.820]It was re-released in March '68.
[00:37:22.250]So we have some videos here
[00:37:24.770]we may just play very quickly.
[00:38:05.870]The last series I mentioned,
[00:38:08.040]I mean the current affairs programs,
[00:38:09.753]was the Face to Face series.
[00:38:14.600]There was a given chance to some politicians
[00:38:19.060]or some other personalities of culture, political life,
[00:38:25.030]was given a chance to them to express
[00:38:28.305]their opinions on some topics.
[00:38:34.100]One of the politicians who were
[00:38:36.790]often asked in this series,
[00:38:39.330]there was Ota Sik who was
[00:38:43.813]Vice Prime Minister at the time,
[00:38:46.730]and he was an economist
[00:38:48.670]and was responsible for the new economic model
[00:38:55.104]of the project of liberalization of economy.
[00:39:00.090]So we may just see one sample
[00:39:04.900]of him from March '68.
[00:39:09.960]He was answering some questions from auditorium
[00:39:14.880]from students about socialist economy.
[00:41:06.750]So he was quite optimistic, I think.
[00:41:13.040]There is also some other important documentaries,
[00:41:16.958]for example to help the General Prosecutor's Office
[00:41:22.810]which investigated the case of Irma Sarik,
[00:41:31.190]or (mumbles) documentaries.
[00:41:35.280]He was a very significant documentary maker.
[00:41:43.959]As you know there were some events
[00:41:46.400]that stopped all the process,
[00:41:48.530]and the invasion itself occurred
[00:41:56.070]during the night from 20 to 21st August.
[00:42:01.430]In archive we keep some of our materials,
[00:42:05.880]but mostly talem on 16 millimeter film tapes,
[00:42:12.370]and we also keep,
[00:42:15.030]I keep newsreels that were broadcast
[00:42:18.540]in theaters at the time.
[00:42:20.030]So it also contains sound
[00:42:25.000]and it was taken on 35 millimeter movies.
[00:42:28.460]So I will play just a sample from this newsreel.
[00:42:33.916](voice overpowered by video)
[00:44:09.367]So it was quite an emotional commentary.
[00:44:15.970]As I said we also keep some footage
[00:44:21.140]that was made by a television cameraman.
[00:44:28.270]I have to skip it.
[00:44:31.640]And I would say something about the broadcast
[00:44:34.400]during the days of occupation.
[00:44:37.330]Soviet armies focused very soon on Czechoslovak TV
[00:44:45.040]as the main source of information for public.
[00:44:52.170]So they occupy headquarters.
[00:44:55.003]But the TV crew, they tried to move
[00:45:00.020]very quickly from occupied premises to new rooms,
[00:45:06.190]and they kept creating makeshift studios
[00:45:11.200]to continue in broadcast.
[00:45:13.780]So they managed to keep broadcasting
[00:45:20.090]during the whole first seven days of occupation.
[00:45:28.050]We keep in archives also some footage
[00:45:34.910]of Soviet soldiers occupying the headquarters
[00:45:37.710]of Czechoslovak Television, (speaks in foreign language).
[00:45:42.270]It was taken illegally from opposite building.
[00:45:46.639]And we see just some officers in the windows
[00:45:51.610]of the building.
[00:46:05.250]The TV makers kept moving around Prague
[00:46:09.370]and were escaping from the soldiers,
[00:46:12.600]and one of the places was then unfinished
[00:46:16.170]complex of buildings where Czech TV is now located.
[00:46:23.380]They even managed to transport some broadcasts,
[00:46:27.130]they keep them by boat because the bridges
[00:46:30.260]were occupied by soldiers, so they were not able to
[00:46:35.670]transport the equipment from one side to the other side
[00:46:39.020]of Vltava River.
[00:46:41.070]So it was really a huge effort of TV makers
[00:46:45.769]to keep on broadcasting.
[00:46:52.080]So now we have some new footage
[00:46:56.500]from the makeshift studio,
[00:47:00.180]and it takes TV makers at the time,
[00:47:07.670]I think it may be my office now,
[00:47:10.050]the complex of where now Czech TV is located.
[00:47:17.640]And all TV workers had to work undercover,
[00:47:27.410]For example this picture shows
[00:47:30.230]studio where they have some artificial wall behind them
[00:47:35.210]to pretend they broadcast from a cellar.
[00:47:45.258]TV makers managed to smuggle the materials
[00:47:49.767]out of the country, mostly to ORF, Austrian Television.
[00:47:53.630]It was broadcast to the world.
[00:47:57.450]The Soviets didn't manage to keep it in secret,
[00:48:01.380]the whole operation.
[00:48:03.230]I just used the picture.
[00:48:09.030]Mr. Kodalkus, I'm sorry, I didn't get the permission.
[00:48:14.480]So the Soviets were on a rampage
[00:48:18.850]and Brezhnev personally insisted on dismissal
[00:48:21.320]of Jiri Pelikan as Director General
[00:48:24.210]which happened on the 1st of September.
[00:48:35.010]After 27th August of 1968,
[00:48:42.750]the illegal broadcast stopped.
[00:48:45.710]Soviet soldiers locked the Czechoslovak TV premises,
[00:48:48.970]but continuously there were some acts of restoring
[00:48:54.439]the situation before the Prague Spring,
[00:48:59.600]so censorship was restored very quickly,
[00:49:02.700]and as I said Jiri Pelikan was dismissed very quickly.
[00:49:07.650]By the way he managed to emigrate to Italy
[00:49:10.530]and became a politician there
[00:49:12.380]and member of the European parliament,
[00:49:14.370]so he's a very interesting person.
[00:49:20.640]I have just two final clips.
[00:49:25.650]First there is lots of house speech
[00:49:29.894]from April 1969
[00:49:33.270]about his kind of warning
[00:49:36.720]what could happen to the society
[00:49:38.240]if they don't keep the spirit of the Prague Spring.
[00:49:43.987]And the other program I chose from hundreds of programs
[00:49:48.450]that were produced during normalization,
[00:49:52.120]it shows how the expectations
[00:49:57.000]of Baslav Havel became true.
[00:50:02.843]So first, our speech.
[00:51:59.198]And from the propaganda movies
[00:52:01.521]that were produced during the '70s,
[00:52:04.090]so hundreds of programs I chose one.
[00:52:06.790]This was broadcast during summer 1970,
[00:52:09.660]and it shows some friendship that arise
[00:52:14.150]between Soviet soldiers and some peasants
[00:52:17.890]of a small village in Bohemia.
[00:52:20.370]So we'll just see.
[00:54:22.670]So that's the end of my presentation.
[00:54:25.840]I have one more thing to show you,
[00:54:28.540]that we discovered some treasure, hidden treasure,
[00:54:34.100]because our archives
[00:54:39.750]got recently some new footage
[00:54:41.700]from 1968 that was taken by a Catalan businessman
[00:54:47.988]who was at the time in Prague.
[00:54:51.520]He arrived on 25th of August
[00:54:53.570]and he took on 35 millimeter camera
[00:55:06.260]something that we hadn't seen before.
[00:55:11.236]And it's in color and it's 35 millimeter film.
[00:55:15.430]So this is of extra good quality.
[00:55:19.440]And we transferred this into HD,
[00:55:22.130]so it seems like it was taken yesterday
[00:55:27.060]and now it's very real.
[00:56:01.170]It's mute with no sound, but the footage is amazing.
[00:56:13.460]I have transcoded it in lower resolution,
[00:56:16.870]but in HD it's really powerful to see that
[00:56:25.380]So we haven't seen anything like that before.
[00:56:43.847]I think it's nine minutes long.
[00:56:50.800]So just an example.
[00:57:00.666]So thank you.
[00:57:19.530]Martin, that was fantastic.
[00:57:21.780]I've known Martin now for about, well,
[00:57:24.040]quite a few months we've been working together at a project,
[00:57:27.210]and now you know why I work with him.
[00:57:29.410]He is the best.
[00:57:31.090]And I'm gonna pass this off to the audience
[00:57:34.490]if you'd like to ask questions.
[00:57:36.520]It was absolutely brilliant.
[00:57:45.510]This was just fantastic.
[00:57:47.870]I would like to ask you, now it's obvious
[00:57:50.530]because you were able to create this,
[00:57:52.150]that enormous amount of materials did survive
[00:57:56.220]the Russian invasion.
[00:57:57.530]But can you tell us were materials actually
[00:58:00.640]destroyed from the television materials?
[00:58:17.840]Yeah, most the footage survived actually,
[00:58:23.850]but some footage were,
[00:58:27.740]we have some materials lost
[00:58:31.320]either due to censorship that they were thrown away,
[00:58:35.630]or due to some technical reasons.
[00:58:40.210]For example they were infected by vinegar syndrome
[00:58:44.540]or something like that.
[00:58:46.600]But I think 90% of materials survived.
[00:58:50.810]Yeah, so good.
[00:59:32.780]Sorry, was that question or just remark?
[00:59:34.760]I'm sorry, I didn't get.
[00:59:38.980]Okay, well all right.
[00:59:40.300]Sorry, I just misunderstood.
[00:59:43.940]I think it was how Czechs deal with some issues.
[00:59:51.860]They just tried to walk it, you know?
[00:59:57.210]Even in this series you have seen here,
[01:00:02.720]it's very typical and common that,
[01:00:10.330]Czechs I think they have a problem to take
[01:00:13.800]some issue seriously.
[01:00:21.050]Sometimes the way how to deal with that,
[01:00:26.280]I think, yeah, they may be tradition
[01:00:28.340]of some Czech humor in the movie.
[01:00:32.290]It's not only in full feature movies and dramas,
[01:00:34.870]but also it was influenced,
[01:00:38.570]it was spread to television production.
[01:00:43.950]So this is quite typical for us I think.
[01:00:57.560]Thank you so much for that great presentation,
[01:00:59.900]and it made me curious about
[01:01:02.570]whether you've done research into
[01:01:04.710]what happened after 1968
[01:01:06.420]and the whole process of how television was used
[01:01:09.630]in aid of normalization.
[01:01:11.820]And just one quick remark.
[01:01:14.345]Otta Bednářová ended up in jail herself in the 1980s.
[01:01:19.300]And the only picture I remember of her
[01:01:23.975]is there's someone taking picture of her
[01:01:25.380]looking out of a prison cell into the courtyard.
[01:01:28.760]But my main question is about how television
[01:01:32.040]was used in normalization.
[01:01:34.890]Yeah, of course it became the main tool of propaganda.
[01:01:39.640]And what you have seen here, I mean the last clip
[01:01:46.380]I played here, it's like maybe too much.
[01:01:51.560]The propaganda later was like smoother.
[01:01:56.710]Maybe it wasn't so stupid and dumb,
[01:01:59.830]but still it was quite present there.
[01:02:03.780]And they were creating not only documentaries
[01:02:09.100]and public affair propaganda programs,
[01:02:11.610]but also dramas and whole TV series
[01:02:16.070]that were depicting like the life of officials.
[01:02:23.723]For example they're telling their
[01:02:25.687]own story of the events of 1968.
[01:02:29.170]So, yeah, it was a very important tool
[01:02:35.630]for the communist party till 1989.
[01:02:53.270]You mentioned that,
[01:02:55.830]I think it was one of the kind of series
[01:02:58.780]was kind of relaunched in 1989.
[01:03:02.330]Are there certain continuities
[01:03:04.110]from people in 1968 that kind of come back
[01:03:08.110]or kind of relaunched?
[01:03:09.930]No, actually it was just
[01:03:12.110]the concept of the program.
[01:03:17.620]They used the same title for the series
[01:03:20.200]but it was completely new and it was focused.
[01:03:23.470]It was kind of restrained, critical form
[01:03:26.720]in the late '80s.
[01:03:28.590]So after the Pastorica was released and (mumbles),
[01:03:32.780]so the officials had to allow workers
[01:03:38.180]to create something similar in our TV, so that's why.
[01:03:42.950]But it had nothing in common with the previous series
[01:03:46.900]from the 1960s.
[01:03:49.120]Did any of the people return
[01:03:50.530]that maybe had to leave in '68?
[01:03:52.900]Did any of them return to TV in the Czech Republic
[01:03:58.356]I don't know, journalists, TV producers,
[01:04:01.190]or people who had to leave.
[01:04:02.280]Yeah, after 1989 you mean?
[01:04:04.010]Yeah, of course.
[01:04:05.680]Even one of the first director generals
[01:04:09.050]of Czechoslovak TV was one of the documentarists
[01:04:13.550]who were fired, was fired, during the produce (mumbles).
[01:04:21.630]Thank you for a fascinating presentation,
[01:04:23.650]and my question is about the vault
[01:04:26.160]film treasure room.
[01:04:27.550]How extensive the vault was
[01:04:30.000]and how did it work and in what way
[01:04:33.540]things were sort of archive kept,
[01:04:35.540]how much was lost because maybe of the storing condition?
[01:04:38.280]Or just how extensive treasure the vault was?
[01:04:44.710]Treasure, film treasure room.
[01:04:46.678](speaking in foreign language)
[01:04:58.240]It wasn't separated from the collection,
[01:05:01.220]but it was in the film library,
[01:05:05.200]it was stored in the film library physically.
[01:05:07.400]But it wasn't locked or something like that.
[01:05:13.720]But the censorship, after 1968, was not official.
[01:05:18.740]So the creators guaranteed themselves
[01:05:26.233]that they would use it,
[01:05:28.490]they would broadcast it.
[01:05:32.499]It wasn't necessary to just
[01:05:36.560]lock it down or something.
[01:05:39.965]There was kind of auto-censorship I would say.
[01:05:43.250]No, I mean for example
[01:05:45.330]from some Czech New Wave, they were hardly,
[01:05:48.160]sort of remastered.
[01:05:50.120]So if you know maybe about the procedures,
[01:05:52.290]if there was some secret coding.
[01:05:54.080]You know this could not be shown,
[01:05:56.570]or some sort of labeling system.
[01:05:59.290]You know, if you know a little bit.
[01:06:00.520]But I know it's complicated.
[01:06:02.205]Yeah, I wasn't allowed to get access
[01:06:05.160]to it to anyone.
[01:06:20.100]I must say in a funny way,
[01:06:21.590]scrap some kind of positive feature
[01:06:23.550]to this terrible Czech television
[01:06:26.660]in the normalization times.
[01:06:29.140]Like many of you sitting in this room,
[01:06:31.720]I've lived through all this period.
[01:06:33.320]And in the '50s where the TV started transmitting,
[01:06:38.480]my father would not allow to have
[01:06:41.890]this devil's machine at home at all.
[01:06:44.866]And at around '60 I think
[01:06:47.290]we bought one home.
[01:06:49.170]And it would stand in the room about three weeks,
[01:06:54.330]and then he literally thrown it out of the window.
[01:07:00.410]So I think it has a very positive effect
[01:07:02.730]with me and my brother that we went back to
[01:07:07.710]studying languages, you know,
[01:07:09.280]listening to music, reading poetry.
[01:07:14.550]Who would dare to do so today?
[01:07:17.890]So I would bow and say thank you
[01:07:20.970]that the Czech Television that we had
[01:07:23.380]devoted out precious time to serious things.
[01:07:34.530]That being said I'm interested
[01:07:36.320]given how closely you have looked at
[01:07:39.710]that sort of transitional moment, right,
[01:07:41.960]from before early '68,
[01:07:44.690]through '68 and then after.
[01:07:48.484]You've called our attention to changing content.
[01:07:51.434]What became available to do,
[01:07:54.700]like topics that could be raised and so forth.
[01:07:57.160]Did you also notice any sort of change in style
[01:08:00.960]no matter how terrible perhaps the television
[01:08:03.270]overall was but like whether
[01:08:05.120]people responsible for making these films
[01:08:08.330]doing something slightly different
[01:08:10.000]in terms of the aesthetics of television
[01:08:12.170]or the aesthetics of story telling
[01:08:14.210]or what you say was the same style itself
[01:08:18.020]and it was just a different content.
[01:08:19.970]I think it was developing, actually.
[01:08:22.779]The style they kept improving
[01:08:26.580]since the beginning of 1960s.
[01:08:31.200]The more room they were given, the more
[01:08:38.819]perfect they were in not only in content
[01:08:42.090]but also in form.
[01:08:43.370]I think it was both together.
[01:08:58.899]There we plays by Batala Pavel
[01:09:03.200]and Schschild Puton in the (speaks in foreign language).
[01:09:08.840]Were television crews admitted to,
[01:09:13.029]it was maybe around '63 and even
[01:09:16.670]one of them was on still in '69,
[01:09:19.810]once the television crew admitted to film
[01:09:23.490]some of these performances,
[01:09:26.069]was that not within your interest?
[01:09:31.069]Frankly, I don't know this exactly.
[01:09:35.645]In '63 we may have some,
[01:09:40.870]not whole program, but I think we may have
[01:09:44.560]some news reportage from that time.
[01:09:51.080]I think so but I'm not so sure.
[01:09:58.042]I think so.
[01:09:59.510]I would have to have closer look
[01:10:03.770]to reply properly, sorry.
[01:10:08.230]Thanks for everything else you showed us.
[01:10:16.306]One more question and then we have to
[01:10:17.685]break for lunch soon.
[01:10:18.805]Okay, let me get this to you.
[01:10:22.296]Let me pass it.
[01:10:23.741]Just real quick.
[01:10:25.216]We heard a lot about censorship
[01:10:26.890]during the period of normalization.
[01:10:29.280]Now, is there censorship at any time,
[01:10:32.840]for example, news broadcasting,
[01:10:42.870]No, we have no such thing.
[01:10:44.810]But of course there are some attempts
[01:10:46.350]to influence our broadcast from politicians.
[01:10:49.100]It would be always here.
[01:10:51.330]So now it's getting stronger I think
[01:10:56.336]from the people around the president,
[01:10:57.810]and of course maybe around prime ministers,
[01:11:00.590]so it could be tough for us.
[01:11:03.290]But so far so good, yeah.
[01:11:07.530]I have a question about
[01:11:09.660]the Russian language during the communism
[01:11:12.210]on Czechoslovak TV.
[01:11:15.074]There were some programs in Russian.
[01:11:18.106]Was English also present in the Czechoslovak TV?
[01:11:27.074]Air courses or reportages from Russia
[01:11:31.784]or from the Soviet Union.
Yeah, of course.
[01:11:34.510]Yeah there were some but of course
[01:11:37.240]there were much more from
[01:11:42.160]Soviet Union than from the US or Western.
[01:11:44.690]But also it wasn't like the Western work
[01:11:49.400]wasn't ignored totally so.
[01:11:51.650]There were some documentaries,
[01:11:55.620]even from the US, yeah that's right.
[01:11:57.750]But it was like kind of propaganda.
[01:12:00.760]So they were showing the dark side
[01:12:02.530]of the society and so on,
[01:12:05.770]like the beating of the African-Americans and so on,
[01:12:09.290]so yeah, it was kind of cliche.
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