CINEMA: There is a part of Miloš Forman in each of his films.
Melita Zajc
Melita Zajc is a media anthropologist and philosopher. Regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: August 17, 2019

Forman vs Forman

Helena Třeštíková

Kateřina Černá

Czech Republic

Today, talking about freedom is more important than ever before and Forman vs. Forman does exactly that. In her latest biographical documentary, Helena Třeštíková portraits the late film director Miloš Forman as one of the leading voices of freedom in the 20th Century. Talking about freedom, she also shows why it is important to do so – even if today, freedom seems to be far less important than it was when Forman was alive.

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An unnecessary luxury

«There’s no place where you can be free,» explains – towards the end of the film – this legendary film director who grew up in communism but directed some of the most iconic Hollywood films of all time. «There is always some pressure. In all those people’s democratic cinematographies there was an ideological pressure, but not a commercial one. In the US it’s the other way round. When it comes to ideological pressure you’re at the mercy of some idiot, while here in the US I am at the mercy of a filmgoer. And that’s what I prefer». Not many would agree with Miloš Forman today, but today freedom is a rare topic anyway. Filmmakers strive for funding and ordinary citizens are absorbed by their fight for survival. Freedom seems an unnecessary luxury for both. On a personal level, we have come to believe that on social media we can all be free to a certain degree: the ideological and commercial pressures have long merged into one. On a global level, the belief that capitalism needs freedom and democracy is long obsolete: capitalism is blossoming the most were human rights are respected the least, and in former communist countries, the nostalgia for the economic advantages has overgrown the memories of the human rights’ violations. No one cares to talk about freedom anymore. Yet, as Miloš Forman reminds us, «only where you can say, publicly and loudly, ‘there is no freedom here’, you are free».

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Forman vs. Forman, a film by Helena Třeštíková

I find completely fascinating the calm kindness with which Třeštíková portrays the people in her films, and how …

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