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Havel's Leaving

Havel's Leaving

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(Odcházení) Director: Václav Havel, CZ, 2011, Czech version, 95 min

The film is based on a certain symmetrical composition of scenes mapping the last two days of Rieger’s stay in the villa, before he is finally evicted. Those present are chiefly the residents of the villa, the secretaries making an inventory of the contents and visitors from outside, who arrive and then leave. They are either Vlasta and Albín or Jack and Bob, who are preparing an interview, or Bea. With each succeeding scene the situation gradually goes from bad to worse. Irena loses her respect for Rieger, particularly after she catches him with Bea in the gazebo. Vlasta not only goes back on her proposal to offer a roof but even proposes a change to Rieger’s will. The journalists turn out to be in the pay of the gutter press which won’t print Rieger’s replies to political questions, but focuses solely on his private life, so his departure from public life is cast in a disreputable light. The phase shortly before the end in which Rieger loses his mind is expressed by a wild romp of all the characters around the pool and in it, accompanied by a huge light show.


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