About the film
The film is composed of four parts. The first parts are extracts of a film that the director initially worked on for three years for the Foundation of Film and Sociology. Afterwards, in the second phase, she kept shooting René’s story on her own for several years. In the third phase she worked together with Czech TV as well as the Czech production company Negativ. Archive materials about political affairs are the fourth component of the film. Her camera followed René to his prison cell, to his mother’s apartment, to the prison hospital and to his work in prison. It watched him in cellars and in the railway stations. Třeštíková asks her questions off-camera and lets René talk about his current feelings, dreams and plans. She also makes him read from his numerous letters. All shots are strictly authentic with no stage effects, acting or commentary.
Since the beginning of René’s story, the Czech Republic has gone through the “Velvet Revolution”, Václav Havel, a former prisoner, dissident and writer, was elected president, the common state of Czechoslovakia came to its end; and the Czech Republic started a process of political change in order to become a standard European democracy, which included joining the European Union. All of those events are included in the story in the form of TV news extracts that René watches in prison and in the form of title cards.