Back to the Past

Návrat do neobyčejných let (r. Karel Hynie – Pavel Taussig, 2004)/
Return to Extraordinary Years (dir. Karel Hynie – Pavel Taussig, 2004)


  • How do the women and the director remember collectivisation and working on the cooperative farm?
  • What might be the reasons for their assessment? Do you think that this is a dominant memory of collectivisation, and who do you think might have different opinions? Whose voice is missing from the clip?
  • How are their memories of the collective similar to or different from the other items in the Collectivisation of Agriculture category?


This clip illustrates the specific generational experience of village residents for whom the prosperous agricultural production in cooperatives provided important social certainty and prestige. Their loss after the collapse of socialist agriculture affected the recollection of “communism”, especially in the countryside.

The clip comes from the documentary Return to the Extraordinary Years (Návrat do neobyčejných let) in which the director, Vojtěch Jasný, returns to the village of Vyhnanice 60 years later, and along with contemporary witnesses, remembers the making of a pro-regime propaganda film at the beginning of the collectivisation period. The witnesses – whether the director himself or the locals – are mostly forgiving of the past, assessing it positively and with a certain degree of nostalgia. They appreciated the social security and the rise in living standards in the collectivised village. This nostalgia is ridiculed at the end by a clip from the original documentary, which clearly demonstrates that the current memory of collectivisation is not consensual and that stories of repression are more visible in the media (