Schwejking / Documentary short

the film

Czech, Polish (with English or German subtitles)

Švejk is a creation of the Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek, and one can say that Švejk is by now more famous than his creator. The book „The good soldier Švejk“ was translated in more than 50 languages and is listed among the 100 books of “The New York Public Library’s Books of the Century”.

Švejk, the good soldier, is a famous character of world literature, kind of a Forrest Gump in WWI. Although he is officially declared an idiot he seems much more intelligent and wiser than the Habsburg officials. Where is the spirit of Švejk today? When you go east, people still read the book, quote it and sometimes even švejk around.
During our filming we were coming across this phenomenon in many ways. We not only talked to politicians such as Valdimír Špidla, by now the Ex-premier of Czech Republic and EC commissioner in Brussels, but also to people on the street and to Švejk experts. Hašek, the creator of Švejk, had his 121st birthday the 30th of April. And so while we were celebrating this anniversary we also celebrated the entrance to the EU which was actually the bigger event that same night. By means of a journey, inspired by a journey in the book, and by means of animation and interviews Švejk and his creator Hašek were revived. One of the experts says about Švejk: ¨ he is a kaleidoscope of life ¨ So is the film.

Eero Balk, translator of Švejk into Finnish Dr. Milan Jankovic, writer and literary scholar Ing. Richard Hašek, grandchild of Jaroslav Hašek Leszek Mazan, writer Stanislac Moša, Direktor of the town theatre in Brno Karolina Neprašová, sculptor Erik Pardus, actor Dr. Petr Pithart, chairman of the Senate Dr. Radko Pytlík, writer and literary scholar ThDr. Jan Schwarz, Partriarch of the Czechoslovakian Husitic Church Dr. Vladimír Špidla, Ex-premier of the Czech Republic Massimo Tria, slavonicist from Italy And
Inhabitans of obec Putim and Cracow and Tourists in Prague

DVD available

Produced by Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Cooperation with FAMU Prague

Director: Nataša von Kopp
Cinematograper: Jan Strnad
Editor: Pavel Kolaja
Sound: Katerina Pavlovsk·
Animation: Derek Roczen
Music: VladimÌr Martinka
Producer: Nataöa von Kopp, Martin Liebig

Formate: 16:9 – Digi-Beta, 16mm