Archive of films Leaving / Odcházení
2011, 94 min
Section: Czech Films 2010–2011
Vilém Rieger held the office of chancellor for many years and now can’t come to terms with the fact he has been ousted. His world has collapsed, and he must even move out of the government villa he has come to call home. Václav Havel based his directorial debut on his own stage play. Within the poetics of absurd theatre, Leaving tinkers with autobiographical elements, although it is not the story of the former Czech president, but a more universal reflection on the powerlessness of the powerful when faced with their own ego.
Vilém Rieger held the office of Chancellor for many years and now can’t come to terms with the fact he has been ousted. His world has collapsed, as well it might since he also has to move out of the government villa that has become home for himself and his family. While he undergoes the humiliating process of separating government-issue property from his own private things, he involuntarily embarks upon an inventory of his relationships with the people around him. In the process he discovers that he never actually knew his family or his colleagues at all and is now in danger of being manipulated by everyone in his midst – including those closest to him. Václav Havel based his directorial debut on his own stage play which he began writing back in the summer of 1989, before the political changes occurred, propelling him towards the presidential office. The film adaptation of Leaving, a play within the poetic mode of absurd theatre, thus tinkers with autobiographical elements, but it is not the story of Havel himself. Musings on the powerlessness of the powerful in the face of their own ego call to mind Shakespeare’s King Lear and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.
About the director
Václav Havel (b. 1936, Prague) was prevented from studying at FAMU due to his bourgeois origins. He established himself as an author and playwright (The Garden Party, The Memorandum). He was involved as script adviser on the short documentary The Fog in 1966. For his attitudes and dissident activities he was placed on the list of banned authors during the period 1968-89, which hindered public performance of his works (among others, the plays Largo desolato, Temptation). Czech culture only began paying back its debt to him after 1989. While he was involved in professional politics (president of the CSR in the years 1989-1992 and the CR 1993-2003), Jiří Menzel shot a TV adaptation of his play Audience (1990) and a film version of his play The Beggar’s Opera (1991). He has been the subject of several documentaries, such as Citizen Havel Goes on Vacation (2005), Citizen Havel (2008) and Citizen Havel Is Rolling Barrels (2009).
Czech Television, Festival Department
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About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Czech Films 2010–2011|
|Screenplay:||Václav Havel podle vlastní stejnojmenné divadelní hry/ based on his stage play of the same name|
|Dir. of Photography:||Jan Malíř|
|Production:||Buc - Film s.r.o.|
|Cast:||Josef Abrhám, Dagmar Havlová Veškrnová, Barbora Seidlová, Tatiana Vilhelmová, Oldřich Kaiser, Vlasta Chramostová, Jan Budař, Eva Holubová, Jaroslav Dušek, Jiří Lábus, Jiří Bartoška, Marián Labuda|
|Contact:||Czech Television - Telexport, Bontonfilm, a.s., Czech Television, Festival Department|
Film Director / Producer