Personal Story

This axis connects all the other perspectives. It does not attempt to cover one certain social phenomenon in its full scope; we selected examples that can transmit the personal and emotional experience of an individual face to face with ideology or repression.

We focused on the experience of the common citizens who took part in neither active opposition against the regime, nor in its political and economic establishment. The life of each individual was nevertheless marked by the politics (see Our Occupation). In the Eastern Bloc, this was due to the fact that the state intervened even in areas that are now reserved for individual decision. Life under socialism presented specific situations and dilemmas and our examples aim at demonstrating them (see A Serious Conversation). This axis is meant to complement the Reppression perspective, as many examples open the dilemma of how common people (who did not oppose the regime openly) coped with human rights violations (see Diary of the Artist). When working with this axis, it is necessary to bear in mind that we mainly work with artistic representations that construct the “common citizen” category in period and contemporary films. We do not expect and cannot say for sure how many citizens of Czechoslovakia experienced the situations of our characters. However, we selected clips that permit us to ponder the question of why, by whom and when our characters are considered typical.

A delicate friendship
A letter to prison
A serious conversation
Diary of the artist
Extraordinary Times
Forced eviction
Our Occupation
Revolution in the regions
Rewriting history
The kid and the housekeeper
What we don’t talk about

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