Holland plans 1968 Czech suicide protestor movie
PR dla Zagranicy
Award-winning director Agnieszka Holland has revealed that her next film will be about Jan Palach, the Czech student who burnt himself to death in protest against the Soviet invasion of 1968.
Holland, who is currently enjoying acclaim for the Holocaust drama In Darkness, will make the film in the Czech Republic with local actors. Jan Palach (pictured) was studying History and Politics at Prague's Charles University when Warsaw Pact troops invaded in August 1968.
The invasion was designed to quash the pro-democratic reforms of the so-called Prague Spring.
The student set himself on fire on 16 January 1969, carrying out the act on one of Prague's principal plazas, Wencelas Square.
He died three days later in hospital as a result of the burns, and his funeral became a further symbolic protest against the Soviet crackdown.
One month later, another student, Jan Zajic, burned himself to death on the same spot.
The forthcoming movie has a personal dimension for Holland, as she herself was studying film in Prague at the time.
Like many students, she was temporarily imprisoned for taking part in protests.
Meanwhile, Agnieszka Holland's current film, In Darkness, is Poland's submission for this year's Academy Awards. The movie has made the long list in the Foreign Film category, and the short list is due to be announced on 24 January. (nh/pg)