Milos Forman is the most famous filmmaker of Czech origin. Milos Forman kept saying that his origin has been decisive and that it is reflected in his cinema, even though he has lived 50 years in the United States. We will discover this “Czech” identity within his work: secularism, sexual freedom, resistance to totalitarian oppression.
Parted from his parents at a very young age, then forced to emigrate to the United States after the Prague Spring, he leaves wife and children and finds himself penniless in New York. At the beginning of the 1970s, alone in his room at the Chelsea Hotel, Miloš Forman understands that to succeed in Hollywood, he must abandon the realism of the new wave and adapt literary success to blend in with the American culture.

He will transcend these adaptations to the intimate: the violence of totalitarian oppression in Flew over a cuckoo’s nest; mediocrity – communist censorship – which conspires talent in Amadeus and the choice of anti-conformism and sexual freedom in Hair, Valmont and Larry Flint. He will find a way to internationally acclaimed films and will be awarded two Oscars.

Milos Forman is an outcast. He will build his strength out of this everlasting lonesomeness. This revolt, that moves him, punctuates his biography.
Milos Forman’s life is also a terrific cast: Vaclav Havel as classmate, Milan Kundera as professor of literature, Jean-Claude Carrière as screenwriter, Michael Douglas as producer, to name a few. He is a child of the century as his life was marked by the upheavals and tragedies of his time. Cinema allowed him to extricate himself from his personal dramas to surpass them. The rhythm of the film will follow that of the life of Milos Forman with slow moments of frustration, impatience of blocked situations and shattering reversals.

Helena Třeštikova

Born in 1949, Helena Třeštikova is one of the most important Czech documentary filmmakers and the only Czech documentary winner of the European Film Award for the film René. She has directed more than forty films since graduating from Prague’s FAMU film school in 1974. She worked in Czech television, which developed the TV hit series Marriage Stories (1987) – intimate portraits of young married couples who shared life during seven years. The series’ six episodes are a combination of sociology, demography and “cinéma-vérité”, making the filmmaker very popular in her country. It has been followed in 2006 by two more parts making together 37 years of the familie’s lives, which became Trestikova’s signature working method, known as a time collection or time-lapse documentary. The series became one of the most watched programs on the Czech TV. Her trilogy of portraits – Marcela (2007), René (2008), Katka (2010) brought her international recognition. René won the prestigious European Film Academy Award and Best Documentary Award at East End Film Festival in UK and DOK Leipzig Festival. In last couple of years, Helena Trestikova’sworks have been the subjects of retrospectives at several major festivals, including Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI), the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, RIDM Montreal, Crossing Europe in Austria or Message to Man in Russia and IDFA in 2017.

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