According to Drda, today we have the misconception that communist repression was sufficiently studied in the 1990s and that we know everything about it.
“But this is just nonsense, because in these years not much attention has been paid to the onset of communism and other events. To some extent, communist propaganda has succeeded in sweeping certain things under the rug. It continues today.”
Hear the character of Barbora Tachisi with Adam Darda
A typical example is the case of Milan Kundera, Drda recalls: “Just see how difficult it was for a large portion of the Czech public and intellectual elites to assimilate the fact that Milan Kundera was a Stalinist and a young professional communist, most likely a man, Miroslav Dvoracik.”
Dardeau is intrigued by how difficult it is to deal with this thing in the Czech Republic. “The second thing is that Milan Kundera is always focused on defending himself on this matter, even though people often don’t know much about the essence of the issue, or about this time,” he believes.
“To some extent, communist propaganda was successful in sweeping certain things under the rug. And it continues today.”
“The victim, Mr Dvořáček, who died in Sweden, actually remained on the margins of attention. And yet he was just the hero of the story: He went abroad, and came back as a pedestrian agent to somehow help in the fight for freedom in a totalitarian country. This guy was an anchor.” Propaganda says
Drda sees another important connection with the 1950s in the fact that many victims of communism died in the 1990s, when no one was able to record an interview with them. “We simply knew that at the time. What we have been collecting since 2005 has been very important, but it really collects what remains.”
Hence, the “nation’s memory” is indeed limited. “I am trying to say that the evil of the system was related to an incomparably greater number of people, it was whole families, not just a small fraction of some of the opponents of communism,” he notes.
“These stories come to life and you become a part of them. Interestingly, fifteen years of intense living with people who are often old will tear you a little further away from the current accelerating electronic reality,” notes the documentary filmmaker.
Witnesses are often very different people and imagine a world that no longer exists. “And this is interesting: today’s world has a lot to do with what was in the 1930s. These people are bridges from this ancient world to the present day,” he believes.
“Nazism and subsequent communism completely destroyed society. This does not mean that there are no intelligent people in our generation, but this is a terrible setback in the twentieth century,” Adam Daddah sums up his experience with stories of witnesses and victims of the oppression of two totalitarian regimes.
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