Film Screening: "Czechoslovakia: Portrait of a Tragedy"


Sunday, August 19, 2018
at the Wende Museum
10808 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230

2 p.m.: Reception in the Garden
3 p.m.: Film Screening

Prague spring imageProduced during "Prague Spring,"  Czechoslovakia: Portrait of a Tragedy (1968) features rare interviews with historical figures including Ota Šik, drafter of the New Economic Model, and Václav Havel, who more than twenty years later became a leader in the Velvet Revolution and the first president of the Czech Republic. In addition to these prominent figures, the filmmakers sought out a wide range of ordinary Czech citizens who spoke frankly on camera about their struggles, uncertainties, and hopes for sustained political change. Screened only a handful of times upon its release, the film has been essentially lost to the public record for the past fifty years. 

Czechoslovakia: Portrait of a Tragedy is in English, with on-screen translation from the Czech provided by the late Rudolf Perina, who served as a research consultant on the production. He would go on to a distinguished career in the Foreign Service, including serving as U.S. Ambassador to Moldova. Mr. Perina’s donation of the film to the Wende Museum made possible its preservation and presentation to a new generation of audiences.

We screen the documentary in honor of Rudolf Perina, who served on the Wende Museum's Council of Advisors, playing a pivotal and inspiring role in the development and growth of the museum. His daughter Kaja Perina will introduce the screening. 

Special thanks to the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles, the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, and LOT Polish Airlines for their generous support of this event. The new preservation of Czechoslovakia: Portrait of a Tragedy was completed with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation. The screening of this film is co-presented with LA FilmForum.

This screening is now at capacity. 
To join the waitlist, please email