Archive of films Jan Palach / Jan Palach

Czech Republic / Slovak Republic
2018, 115 min

Section: Czech Films 2018–2019
Year: 2019

He never told anyone of his plan and needed no one’s approval. Director Robert Sedláček’s ambitious drama untangles the mystery of student martyr Jan Palach, who set himself on fire on January 16, 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia.


On January 16, 1969 Jan Palach, one of the most mysterious figures in Czech history, set himself on fire on Wenceslas Square in protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. He died in the hospital three days later. Director Robert Sedláček’s drama seeks to understand how this twenty-year-old student became a human torch at a time of slow-moving, yet alarmingly obvious change in the social order. A perceptive young man with a strong notion of justice, Palach’s combativeness grows as those around him, including his mother, lose the urge to resist. Sedláček and screenwriter Eva Kantůrková rely on first-person accounts to evoke the spirit of an era in which sensitive individuals could not breathe because in all probability they were concerned about the nation’s morals.

Jan Škoda

About the director

Robert Sedláček

Robert Sedláček (b. 1973, Gottwaldov/Zlín, Czechoslovakia). Selected filmography: Rules of Lies (2006), Men in Rut (2009), The Greatest Czechs (2010), Long Live the Family! (2011), Czech Century (2013, TV series), The Inheritance II (2014), The Life and Times of Judge A. K. (2014, TV series), Bohéma (2017, TV series), Jan Palach (2018)


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Czech Films 2018–2019
Director: Robert Sedláček
Screenplay: Eva Kantůrková
Dir. of Photography: Jan Šuster
Music: Michal Rataj
Editor: Josef Krajbich
Art Director: Martin Kurel
Producer: Viktor Schwarcz
Production: Cineart TV Prague
Coproduction: Česká televize, Up&Up production, Arina, Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska
Cast: Viktor Zavadil, Zuzana Bydžovská, Denisa Barešová, Kristína Kanátová, Jan Vondráček
Contact: Cineart TV Prague s.r.o.
Distributor: CinemArt, a.s.


Viktor Schwarcz


Jan Maxa

Other, Producer

Silvia Panáková


Robert Sedláček

Film Director

Viktor Zavadil


Jan Schwarcz


Denisa Barešová



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