A Tribute To Vaclev Havel (feat. Leaving & The Garden Party)

Before becoming the first president of free Czechoslovakia after 1989 and a world-celebrated politician, Václav Havel (who sadly passed away this winter) was first and foremost an incredible playwright. In the 1960s, Joseph Papp premiered all his plays at the venerable Public Theater in Manhattan, and invited Havel for his first visit to America in 1968. After leaving public office, Havel returned to writing, and to a theme of his from the ’70s, about a womanizing politico at the time of life when he is no longer the center of attention, protected by his office against his political archrival. A searing satire, Havel’s directorial debut Leaving fulfilled his lifelong dream of making a movie. Based as much on Shakespeare’s King Lear as on the president’s real-life experience in politics, the resonance with Havel’s personal life is allegedly accidental, though the author’s claim is made harder to believe by the casting of his wife, Dagmar, in the role of the politico’s girlfriend. After intermission, it’s a presentation of a 2010 television production of Havel’s play The Garden Party!
Leaving Dir. Vaclev Havel, 2011, 95 min.
The Garden Party Dir. Rudolf Tesácek, 2010, 92 min.

Watch the trailer for “Leaving”!
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