Czech culture at home: 5 tips for what to stream, eat, and read this weekend, March 5–7, 2021

The Good Soldier Švejk turns 100, Manifesto delivers cocktails, Lobkowicz Palace steams a live tour, and a Plastic People podcast.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 04.03.2021 15:23 (updated on 06.03.2021)

WATCH: The classic 1967 costume drama Marketa Lazarová

The annual Czech Lion awards take place March 6 to honor the best Czech films of last year. While few of those are online with English subtitles, you can instead see the film that was once voted the best Czech Czechoslovak film ever. Director František Vláčil’s 1967 epic-length Marketa Lazarová is a visually impressive drama set sometime in the middle ages. Rival clans clash after Marketa is kidnapped and forced to become a nobleman’s mistress. A digitally restored version is available on streaming service Aerovod.

LOOK: Take a tour of Lobkowicz Palace

You can explore the collections at Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle in free live tour on Sunday nights, with the next one on March 7. The tour is in English at 8 p.m., while one in Czech is at 6 p.m. The palace is home to several notable paintings including a masterpiece by Diego Velázquez, musical scores with handwritten notes by Beethoven, musical instruments, historical weapons, and a room dedicated to dogs. The tour, hosted by William Rudolf Lobkowicz, takes about 45 minutes and ends with 15 minute Q&A. Find out more on the Lobkowicz Palace website, and watch the tour live over Youtube.

EAT: Manifesto launches a line of Happy Vacation cocktails

Happy Vacation Cocktails from Manifesto. (Photo: Manifesto)
Happy Vacation Cocktails from Manifesto. (Photo: Manifesto)

Everyone needs a vacation, but right now it is hard to go very far. Prague’s Manifesto Market has launched a line of exotic cocktails that it can deliver. The themes are Tahiti, Mexico, and Cuba. Manifesto has also made a Spotify playlist to help create the illusion of relaxing on a beach. The cocktails and a list of other beverages including wine and beer can be picked up at the Florenc location of Manifesto or ordered directly from Manifesto on Wheels, the venue’s e-shop. The cocktails as well as food from many of the residents of Manifesto can be ordered over Bolt, Wolt and Dáme jídlo.

READ: The Good Soldier Švejk turns 100 years old

Jaroslav Hašek in 1921 and a contemporary cover for The Good Soldier Švejk. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)
Jaroslav Hašek in 1921 and a contemporary cover for The Good Soldier Švejk. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

The first volume of Jaroslav Hašek’s comedic war novel The Good Soldier Svejk: and His Fortunes in the World War was published March 1, 1921. Since then, it has become the most translated novel ever written in the Czech language. The plot finds Švejk, a reluctant soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I, bumbling his way through the war while getting involved in petty incidents that land him in hot water. His exploits are often seen as a symbol of passive resistance. Most editions have illustrations by Josef Lada. The book can be found on Amazon.com as well as from many Czech retailers.

LISTEN: Guardian looks at The Plastic People of the Universe

The sixth entry in UK newspaper The Guardian’s Reverberate podcast series on important musical moments focuses on The Plastic People of the Universe, the dissident band that played an important role in ending communist rule. Paul Wilson, a Canadian teacher of English who moved to Prague in 1967, is interviewed about his involvement with the band. Historian Martin Machovec discusses the band’s impact, and what the conditions were like for bands that tried to go against the communist era restrictions. Listen to the podcast here.