A few hours before his self-immolation, Jan Palach sent his friend Hubert Bystřičan a postcard saying goodbye. Hubert Bystřičan, who was a few years older than Palach, was in his fourth year of studies at the University of Economics in Prague when he met Jan. The two became good friends.
Bystřičan was very active in organizing internships in the former Soviet Union and France. He arranged for Palach to spend the autumn of 1968 in France. Both visited Kazakhstan in the summer of 1967, where Bystřičan's brother, Jiří, made a film that features Palach. It is the only undamaged footage of Palach that remains. In June 1968, Hubert Bystřičan graduated and moved to Kladno for work. He and his wife still live in Kladno.
The Faithful I Remain website captures authentic and unique testimonies from witnesses of Palach’s sacrifice and presents fascinating stories from people who were inescapably affected by political trials, Soviet occupation and the subsequent “normalization”.
We invited publicly known figures to share their recollections of an historic and challenging time, resulting in a series of interviews full of intimate memories, experiences and impressions that illustrate critical turning points in the period of Communist rule.
The website was created by 2FRESH for HBO Europe s. r. o. to support the Burning Bush, a three-part drama from world-renowned Polish director Agnieszka Holland.The project was completed with assistance from the Prague City Council and Mayor of Prague MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda.
HBO Europe's three-part drama Burning Bush, directed by world-renowned Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, premiered on the HBO film channel on 27th January 2013.
Both the most extensive and ambitious project in the history of HBO Europe, the film recalls a period of Czech modern history which had been ignored in Czech cinema until now.
The film begins with the reconstruction of the shocking act of Jan Palach, who set himself on fire on 16 January 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation
The story follows the young lawyer who represents Jan Palach’s mother against an influential Communist official and serves to describe the transformation of the Czechoslovak society at the time – from the silent protest culminating at Palach’s burial to growing resignation and the upcoming period of “normalization.”