Workshop with Filip Remunda
After the opening ceremony of the International Film and Music Festival Kustendorf 2011, Filip Remunda and Vit Klusak's movie, Czech Peace, was screenеd to kick off the Contemporary Trends Programme. This bold movie tells about the attempt of the mayor a small Czech village, with a population of 80, to thwart the American plan to build the 762nd military base.
After the screening of the movie, one of the directors of this documentary, Filip Remunda, followed by a long applause, began a workshop discussing about how he came to the idea of creating such a provocative movie.
Emphasizing that they approached the filming of the movie with an open mind, Remunda explained that one of the problems he and Vit Klusak encountered was the research and gathering of information, which was often a difficult and lengthy process.
Speaking about how “big politics” affect the lives of “small people” and changing them, Remunda commented on the fact that a protest occurred twenty years following the Velvet Revolution, which alone was so rare for today’s Czech Republic, which was provoked by the set up of the radar base and which concerned some sort of basic self-respect and the confidence that a single person can make a difference.
- The primary problem of ‘small nations’ is that their lives are created by ‘big powers.’ At the beginning of working on the movie, I was sure that the radar base would be built.” Said Remunda adding that, “When we found out that the Americans would be building their own radar base in the exact spot where the Soviet military base once was, we began researching. Then, thanks to the research, we found out that on that same spot were once the Wehrmacht bunkers and that forced us to start thinking about the creation of this movie. It was obvious that this place was not randomly picked; it was special and that greatly intrigued us. Then we met the mayor of this small place in the Czech Republic who intended on opposing the ‘great power’ and we tried to depict what was happening in the best possible way.
In response to the question of how they filmed the scenes in the White House during the visit of the Czech Premier to George Bush, Remunda recounted a series of anectodes that followed his and Vit's departure to Washington, where they tried, as journalists, to research the background of the story about the building of the missile shield in the Czech Republic, adding that he believed that with the change in American presidency, the arrival of Obama, would lead to a change in relations in his country as well.
- However, the Czech premier bragged at a press conference that President Obama called him at exactly 21 minutes past midnight.” Remunda explained and added that, - The Poles managed to overcome this by not answering the phone, so the Americans could only reach them during business hours, while with us in the Czech Republic the hotline still existed.
At the end of the workshop, when asked whether he was working on a new movie, Remunda replied that he is currently filming a movie in Russia. This movie deals with complicated and special relations between the Czech Republic and Russia, whose roots lie in much further history that he knew or assumed before beginning the work.