Vachek Confrontation

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
303MVACH credit 1 7 seminar hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 20 to 25 hours of self-study English, Czech winter

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For a long time now, I have been trying to figure out how to re-present the personality and work of the pedagogue of the Department of Documentary Production at FAMU, prof. Karel Vachek. Last year's happening at the time of the one-year anniversary of his death (joint pilgrimage of a group of students and Vachka's friends from school to his apartment in the Suchy vršek housing estate and back again see + banner hanging for the school with his quote were fine, but it needs something more permanent. I thought of starting a tradition that will be connected with the date of his departure/transition on 12/21, but the end of the year allows for social reflection. The annual event „Vachek Confrontation“ would always consisted of three parts - I am now introducing the film, the theme and the guests for the first year:

1st block – projection of a 35mm copy of the film „Elective Affinities“ (1968, 85'): Martin Švoma will prepare an introduction before the film, which will put the audience into context and introduce the theme/characters, and will lead a subsequent debate with the guests focused on film studies of the past-present; in the FAMU Studio Reference Screening 3-6:20 p.m. (for longer films, this part will start earlier)

15:00-15:20 introduction 20'

15:20-16:45 film 85'

16:50-18:20 debate 7 guests 90': film historian and director of NFA Michal Bregant, director Jan Gogola Jr., editor of Vachek´s collected works Miloš Kameník, film producer Radim Procházka, historians Michal Stehlík and Martin Groman, authors of the podcast „Rewrite History“ and director Helena Všetečková

2nd block - debate on the current topic that interferes with the film today: „the presidential election and the escalation of the political situation, or has representative democracy come to an end?“ (in a year or so it may be different focuses): Petr Fischer will moderate the debate focused on the present-future with guests who, in the spirit of Vachek's „Open Seminar“, will be approached from a wide spectrum of non-film subjects - political scientist, historian, psychologist, philosopher, economist, biologist, etc.); in the Reference Projection of the FAMU Studio 18:30-20:30 debate 8 guests 90': spokesperson for movements Fridays for Future movement Klára Bělíčková, software developer and member of association Transparent Lenka Králová, writer Eda Kriseová, journalist Jakub Patočka, philosopher Miroslav Petříček, political scientist and left-wing anarchist Ondřej Slačálek, signatory of Charter 77 and knight of the Legion of Honor Anna Šabatová, columnist and translator Petruška Šustrová

3rd block – djing of Vachek's LP gramophone records and free debate of the participants with refreshments: 20:30-22:30 at Club FAMU (Mr. Vachek Jr. agreed to lend the records)

Learning outcomes

recall the work and ideas of prof. Karel Vachko (*1940 – +2020), present critical thinking within the framework of the debate of prominent personalities

Prerequisites and other requirements



Evaluation methods and criteria

100% participation and activity during debates


business cards of debate participants, guests and moderators (alphabetical)

Klára Bělíčková (*2005)

He is a spokesperson for the Fridays for Future movement, which deals with the issue of climate change. He has been engaged in activities in the public space since he was fourteen years old. He is studying in the second year of the alternative branch of the Na Zatlance High School in Prague. He works in the platform for socio-ecological transformation RE-SET in a financial project, specifically dedicated to banking and insurance of the fossil industry. More at and https:/ /

Michal Bregant (*1964, Prague)

Director General of the National Film Archive. From 2002, he served as dean of FAMU for six years and then headed the FAMU International department for two years. His professional interest has long been focused on Czech cinematography and the film avant-garde, experiment and relations between film and other art forms. Lately, he's been trying to explain to people that digitization is a wonderful tool for making movies more accessible, but that it can't „solve everything.“ More at and

Petr Fischer (*1969)

Journalist, screenwriter, presenter and philosopher. He graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. He finished his studies in 2000 by defending his diploma thesis on the topic On the way (from) metaphysics: Heidegger and Derrida. He worked in the newspaper Lidové noviny, where he became the main commentator in 2001. From 2003 he worked in the Czech editorial office of the BBC. For three years he was the head of the culture section of the daily Hospodářské noviny, and for several years he was the head of the culture section of Czech Television. He moderated the TV shows Před połnocő and Kulturama. In the years 2014–2017, his program Konfrontace Petr Fischer was broadcast on the TV station ČT art.

He is the author of the book of feuilletons Public Lighting (2008) and the co-author of the scripts of the documentary films Papírový assassination (2007) and Drnovické catenaccio or the Journey to the Prehistory of Economic Transformation (2010). In the article The end of the presidential kingdom in the fortnightly newspaper A2, he expressed the opinion that the Czechia does not need a president. The text was created in response to the awarding of state honors to Ladislav Štaidl, Jiří Mánek and František Ringo Čech. From December 2016 to December 2018, he held the position of editor-in-chief of the Czech Radio station – Vltava. After that, the management of Czech Radio did not extend his contract. For his journalistic work, he was awarded the Rudolf Medek Award (2010) and the Ferdinand Peroutka Award in 2012. More at and /l~5e6f162c821911e49e4b0025900fea04/

Jan Gogola Jr. (*1971, Uherské Hradiště)

Director, dramaturg, teacher at TUB in Zlín, collaborator of Czech Radio and IDF. Former dramaturg of CT, head of program of CT Brno, pedagogue at JAMU and FAMU. From the filmography: Vila Inocent, Nonstop, Doll Against the Rest of the World, Narod seba.., Across the Border: České Velenice evropské, Breathless: I Like a Boring Life, Rock of Life, The King Does Nothing, Kateřina Šedá: How to Make a Myth, František of a Kind , Excursion or History of the Present. For example, he directed films by P. Abrahám, E. Hníková, V. Chytilová, V. Janeček, P. Kerekes, R. Kirchhoff, V. Klusák, L. Králové, J. Krejčík, F. Remunda, H. Třeštíková. More at and https://www.

Martin Groman (*1976)

External collaborator of Deník N and media historian. He lectures at FSV UK and MUP Prague and leads the Ferdinand Peroutka Society. He worked as an announcer for Czech Radio and still works there as an external radio documentarian. It was for CRo 3 – Vltava that he prepared an extensive, two-hour documentary mapping the life course of František Kriegl some time ago. As a co-author or editor, he prepared for publication Slávka Peroutková's memoir The Third Wife (2005), the interviews of Ferdinand Peroutka and Johannes Urzidil ​​About Czech and German culture (2007), the correspondence of František Kriegl and František Janouch Na smutek není čas (2009). More at and

Miloš Kameník (*1980, Jihlava)

He is a graduate of the Higher Vocational School of Film in Písek and the Faculty of Arts of the Palacký University in Olomouc (major Theory and History of Dramatic Arts). He works as a teacher and worker in social services, occasionally contributing texts to the internet magazine 25fps. In 2000, he co-founded the artistic group Natvrdlí, which is mainly dedicated to creative theater and film work. In his independent work, he alternates between documentary and feature branch of cinematography. The poetics of the creative association can be described as a metatextual recycling of the media waste of everyday Czech existence into the form of postmodern exploitation. More at and

Lenka Králova (*1981)

She was born in a man's body, but even as a small child she had girlish fantasies. However, she lived most of her life as a man. He has two marriages and an eight-year-old son. She decided to make a major life change only at the age of 37. Software developer Lenka Králová has a show on YouTube called V Tranz, where she talks with her guests about transition, but also about legislative problems that trouble trans people in the Czech Republic. More on and /channel/UCjeJk41c75odVxL51pATvsw

Eda Kriseová (*1940, Prague)

She was born and grew up in the very center of Prague, where her mother had a sculpture studio. During the war, they had a shortage of food, so they moved to the countryside. After 1948, she had problems getting into university because of the personnel profile. Only after some time was she accepted to study journalism. In the 1960s, she worked in the newspaper Mladá fronta and later in Mladé svět. In 1968, she went on a trip to Israel with a group of journalists and activists, where she learned about the occupation of Czechoslovakia. However, she was unable to connect with the home where she had a husband and young daughter. In the end, she managed to return home and subsequently began collaborating with Ludvík Vaculík in Literární listy. However, these were soon canceled by the normalization authority and the witness was banned from all activities. She started writing fiction for the samizdat, became part of the dissent and volunteered at a sanatorium for the mentally ill. The whole time she was being monitored by State Security and regularly had to go to StB interrogations. During the Velvet Revolution, she acted as a spokesperson for Václav Havel, and after his election as president, she went with him to Prague Castle, where she first worked as an adviser in the field of culture and later was put in charge of handling pardons and complaints about the hardships that the communist regime had inflicted on people during forty years. After the revolution, she was also finally able to publish her books and lecture all over the world. More at

Jakub Patočka (*1973, Brno)

He was born in Brno, where he also studied sociology at Masaryk University. In 1991, he founded and then managed the Seventh Generation magazine for 8 years. In the years 1999 to 2009, he was the editor-in-chief of the Literární noviny, where he shaped his idea of ​​journalistic work in cooperation with authors from the „old school“, especially Alexander Kliment, Jaroslav Šabata and Ludvík Vaculík. Since 2009, he has been publishing the Internet Journal Referendum. He published comments in Czech Radio, in most Czech daily newspapers and also in the British newspaper The Guardian. More at

Miroslav Petříček (*1951, Prague)

Philosopher and theoretician of visual arts. In his thinking, he was significantly influenced by Jan Patočka, whose housing seminar he attended in the 1970s. He specializes in contemporary French philosophy and the relationship between philosophy and art. He translated a number of key works from German and French philosophy, including The Light Chamber (Roland Barthes), Time and Narrative (Paul Ricœur) or The Idea of ​​Phenomenology (Edmund Husserl). Among his most read publications are Introduction to (contemporary) philosophy, an analysis of the dynamics of detective novels The Majesty of the Law. Raymond Chandler and Late Deconstruction (2001) or the last book of essays, Thinking in Pictures (2009). More at

Radim Procházka (*1975, Vyškov)

A graduate of mass communication at FSV UK and documentary production at FAMU, where he graduated in 2006 from the department of documentary production with a portrait of theater director Otomar Krejča Krejča behind the gate. At FAMU, he is a mentor to foreign directing students. He produced films by Robert Sedláček and Karel Vachko. Now he works on films of various genres - documentaries, animated and live. Everyone is united by the desire to discover new things. His films have won many awards. More at

Ondřej Slačálek (*1982)

Political scientist working at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, anarchist, columnist and translator. Since 1999, he has been working in the editorial office of the magazine A-kontra, and publishes mainly in the dailies Britské listy and MF Dnes and in the anarcho-feminist revue Přímá cesta. From autumn 2006 to autumn 2007, he was the editor of the weekly Nový Prostor, later the editor of the culturally political weekly A2. More at

Michal Stehlík (*1976, Třebíč)

Historian and Slovak scholar working at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague, where he was dean from 2006 to 2014. He mainly deals with Czech history of the 20th century. In the years 2014 to 2015, he was the chairman of the Council of Czech Radio. More at and goldfinch-4425.html

Anna Šabatová (*1951, Brno)

Signatory of Charter 77 and its spokesperson in 1986. She has been involved in the protection of human rights throughout her life. In the years 2001 to 2007, she was the representative of the public defender of rights, in the years 2008 to 2013, the chairman of the Czech Helsinki Committee, and in the years 2014 to 2020, the public defender of rights. After graduating from the gymnasium in Slovanské náměstí, in 1969 she began to study philosophy and history at the Faculty of Philosophy in Brno. In her third year, she was arrested and sentenced for distributing leaflets for undemocratic elections. After her release, she could no longer finish her studies and worked as a clerk. She was one of the first signatories of Charter 77, in 1986 she became its spokesperson. In 1978, she co-founded the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted. After 1989, Anna Šabatová worked as an adviser to the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. In 1996, she completed her master's degree in Czech language and literature and worked as an editor, later as head of the Municipal Center for Social Services. In the years 2001-2007 she held the position of deputy public defender of rights Otakar Motejlo, in the years 2014-2020 she worked as an ombudsman. Šabatová is also the recipient of the UN Prize for the Defense of Human Rights, and in 2018 French President Emmanuel Macron awarded her the highest state honor of the Order of the Legion of Honor in the rank of knight. More at

Petrushka Šustrová (*1947, Prague)

Publicist, translator from English and Polish and former dissident. When the tanks of the Warsaw Pact arrived in August 1968, she was a student at the Faculty of Arts at the Charles University. She lived through the November occupation strike at the faculty and subsequently founded the Revolutionary Youth Movement with friends. A group of young people who were not going to accept the coming normalization issued protest statements, cycled anti-regime leaflets and established contact with foreign countries. Before the first anniversary of the invasion on August 21, 1969, he called on the public for passive resistance. At the turn of 1969/1970, nineteen members of the movement were arrested, Petruška served a total of two years. After returning from the criminal, she became involved in rewriting the texts of the samizdat Edica Petlice and gradually got closer to the underground. At Christmas 1976, she signed Charter 77. She was at the creation of the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS). After the arrest of the leading organizers of the committee in 1979, she played a major role in the creation of the so-called report, which documented cases of political persecution. In 1985, she was one of the three spokespeople for Charter 77. She underwent house searches, interrogations at the StB, and after 1982 she was fired from her position as a cleaner. In November 1989, she co-founded the Information Service, she is the author of its very first article. After the Velvet Revolution, she was the leader of the citizen commissions examining former estebák, in the years 1990-1992, as deputy federal minister of the interior, she participated in the lustration process and the reorganization of the police forces. After working at the Ministry of the Interior, she returned to journalism. In the years 2008-2013, she worked on the Council of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. She still works as a journalist, columnist and translator. More at and

Martin Švoma (*1975, Žďár nad Sázavou)

Film historian, columnist and screenwriter. He graduated in the field of film science at the Faculty of Arts, UK. As a film historian and theoretician, he mainly dealt with Czech film after 1989, he taught at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Warsaw and at FAMU. He is the author of the monograph „Karel Vachek etc.“, dedicated to the work of an important Czech documentarian. Since the mid-1990s, he has been involved in the preparation of amateur and independent film festivals and workshops for young student and amateur filmmakers as an organizer, judge and lecturer. As a dramaturg, he worked on the TV cycle Ten Centuries of Architecture, collaborated with TV stations HBO, Prima, Nova and ČT. He currently works as a dramaturg and director with the film company Evolution films. In 2014, the film Czech Beer War, which he sponsored as a screenwriter and dramaturg, was released. More at

Helena Všetečková (*1982, Prague)

She studied documentary film at FAMU in the workshop of Professor Karel Vachko. She has made several films about world changes, such as the entry of small post-communist countries into the world of dysfunctional capitalism, in the context of humor and contemporary left-wing thinkers and philosophers (Chomsky, Žižek, Badiou, Hauser, Floss), such as Is Everyone Right? Karel Floss and the others. It ranks itself in the „instinctive branch of the Czech documentary“. More at

Further information

Course may be repeated

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
21.12.2022 15:00–23:00 Alice RŮŽIČKOVÁ
screening of Karel Vachek's film and a debate with notable personalities in the Reference Screening at the FAMU Studio - will be interpreted into English parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans