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The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1991)

Konec stalinismu v Cechách (original title)
A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). Some ... See full summary »

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A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). Some knowledge of the subject is essential in order to understand the film, which is entirely visual. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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Animation | Short

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1991 (Czechoslovakia)  »

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The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia  »

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References How to Drown Dr. Mracek, the Lawyer (1975) See more »

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A work of Agitprop
17 January 2008 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia(1990) by Jan Svankmajer is 10 minutes long surrealistic film that depicts the history of Czechoslovakia from the end of WWII (May 9, 1945 is celebrated as the Victory Day in Europe) until 1990 - the fall of the Pro-Soviet Government as a result of Velvet Revolution in 1989 and dividing Czechoslovakia into two independent countries, Czech Republic (with Prague as Capital) and Slovakia (Bratislava). The period in the history of Czechoslovakia that lasted for 45 years was connected very closely with that of the former USSR. That's why there are so many references to the Russian history, politicians, and culture in the film. Before our eyes, in a very disturbing scene, a surgeon cuts open the face of the Stalin's bust from which a smaller bust of Klement Gottwald covered in blood is "born". The scene illustrates how the Communist Party came to power in 1948 under the leadership of Gottwald, the faithful Stalin's pupil and follower. Svankmajer subtitled the short "A work of Agitprop", and it is undeniably his most political work but at the same it is a work of Art with typical and mesmerizing combination of many techniques such as clay animation, stop motion and the documentary that made Svankmajer unique and his every film unforgettable


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