Controversial film 'Havel' now streaming to a living room near you

The film by director Slávek Horák symbolically went online November 17, here's where you can catch it.

James Fassinger

Written by James Fassinger
Published on 04.12.2020 04:56 (updated on 04.12.2020)

This film, depicting Havel's story, is one of the most significant Czech films of recent years. Variety magazine gives it accolades for its original creative approach and strong storyline, "A creative biography full of life, an exciting script, a clever director, the story of a global icon in the fight for human rights. Performances from Martin Hofmann as Pavel Landovský, Anna Geislerová in the role of Olga Havlová and Viktor Dvořák as Havel are exceptional."

After its premiere this past summer about the first post-revolutionary president of Czechoslovakia, it met with much controversy. Many people criticized Havel personally online and in social media after the film's release, "Havel is a traitor of the greatest calibre of the Gestapo family" or "He was a liar, a criminal and a national pest".

The film focuses on the playwright’s dissident years and Havel's bravery and determination to stand up to the regime and fight for human rights. The creators were not afraid to show him as a real man with all his doubts and flaws, mistakes, and even mistresses.

Martin Hofmann plays Pavel Landovský (left) and Viktor Dvořák (right) plays Havel in the film. (photo: Bontonfilm)
Martin Hofmann plays Pavel Landovský (left) and Viktor Dvořák (right) plays Havel in the film. (photo: Bontonfilm)

This upset some supporters of Václav Havel, while others praised his personal views. "Everyone somehow remembers Václav Havel, everyone has their own opinion and view of him. I expect different responses to the film," said actor Viktor Dvořák, who plays Havel, before the premiere.

"Our film is about a man who decided to fight injustice, went to prison for his convictions and almost died there for his truth. About a man who blamed his one hesitation so much that he continued to listen only to the voice of his conscience and became a world icon. With all the human imperfections and sometimes absurd contradictions that I think he realized, “says director and screenwriter Slávek Horák.

More than 150,000 people saw Havel in cinemas after its release, but if you missed it in theaters this summer, you can now watch it in online through iTunes, O2 TV or Aerovod.