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International Programme 2012
Private Universe Helena Třeštíková

The diary of a Czech family man from 1974 till today: children are born and grow up, nations are disbanded, and men flies into space – always accompanied by Karel Gott’s songs.

Private Universe

Documentary Film
Czech Republic
83 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Katarina Cerna, Negativ Film Productions
Helena Třeštíková
Karel Gott
Vlastimil Hamernik, Jiri Chod, David Cysar
Jakub Hejna
Helena Třeštíková
Lukas Moudry
“The future is a relative concept. It’s up to us to imagine it.” How right this immaculately coiffed black and white television show host is as she drinks to a potentially coloured future at a time when people take the first steps on the moon and tanks roll into Prague – both events with incalculable consequences. For who really knows how people are going to live in a few decades? When Petr begins a diary on the day of his wedding to Jana in Prague in 1974, he doesn’t know how his world and his little family universe will develop – and influence each other. When Helena Třeštiková starts to accompany Jana’s pregnancy with her camera a little while later she has no idea that 37 years later this will become her longest long-term documentary so far: “Private Universe”.
Petr’s diary provides the variable framework of this thoroughlylight footed family portrait. From this perspective great political upheavals sometimes appear marginal, while first teeth take centre stage. The changes of Czech society are reproduced on a smaller scale, a life between Karel Gott and John Lennon. The actual dimensions of the film’s title are not revealed until the son, Honza, the rebel, gradually becomes the main protagonist. For when he was born 37 years ago he had no idea it was under the star of the camera. A lucky star?

Lars Meyer

MDR Film Prize 2012