Slovakian Film Night: Paper Heads


The first feature in the series of film and discussion evenings focuses on the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, from its establishment to its collapse in 1989. It deals with the violations of human rights under the Communist regime and creates a basis for the following films in the series, which centre around the revolutions of the 1980s. As in many other countries in Europe, Czechoslovakia saw its bloodless resistance culminate in 1989. That May, Prague mothers marched on the streets of the capital, while in June environmentalists marched in Bratislava and in August the suppression of the Prague Spring was remembered. The events reached boiling point when students commemorated the killing of fellow student Jan Opletal by the Nazis with a parade. The parade became a protest against the regime and was quickly put down by the police. In the following days, thousands of people took to the streets and the authorities could no longer silence them. The very next week, the leadership of the party was forced to resign, followed by the resignation of the government that December. On 28 December, dissident Václav Havel was elected President of the state, whose story we will see in the last film in the series, Olga.  

The film will be introduced by Mr Peter Osuský, Slovak MP and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Committee on European Affairs.  

Paper Heads
Documentary, 1996 (96 min)
Director: Dušan Hanák  
Language: Slovak, with English subtitles

Paper Heads is a film about the history of Czechoslovakia from 1945-1989. It is an emotional essay about the relationship between individuals and power during the reign of the totalitarian regime at the time. Through a mosaic of authentic archival materials, stories of witnesses and staged performances, the film provides a testimony about human rights violations in Czechoslovakia. But first and foremost it is an exceptional reflection upon freedom and the oppression of human beings.  

The event will be held in English.

The event is free of charge 

The event is being supported by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Helsinki.

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