Jan Palach, a student of history, burned himself when he was twenty one years old. This act was his protest against the lethargy into which, according to him, Czech nation fell after the invasion of allied forces in August 1968. This distinctive cry of resistance deeply affected both Czech and foreign public. Many people still feel tremor in back when they think back.
Project www.faithfuliremain.com captures authentic and unique testimony of severe contemporary witnesses of Jan Palach's act and brings fascinating stories of people who the political process, Soviet occupation and also further normalisation has left with unforgettable scars.
Jan Palach was born in the family of entrepreneur and was raised in the spirit of patriotic traditions of first Czechoslovak republic. He studied University of Economy, later he switched to Philosophical faculty at Charles University. According of his friends was Jan quiet young man, strong with his principles, who actively participated in student life. Due to his positive relationship with Soviet Union, Jan was enthusiastically helping with organisation of labor camps in Kazakhstan and Leningrad. Then came fall 1968 and everything has changed. Palach participated in several demonstrations against occupation and invasion and eventually began to think about some radical act, which would arouse the crowds. In Prague, in front of the National Museum, 16th January 1969, he set himself on fire.
We asked czech public figures such as Madeleine Albright, Kamila Moučková, Vlasta Chramostová, Stanislav Milota, Olbram Zoubek, Věra Čáslavská, Jiří Stránský, Jiřina Šiklová, and classmates of Jan Palach and others to tell us their story. The result are intimate interviews full of memories and deep experiences, which illustrate the major historical events during the communist regime.
The project called Faithful I remain (Věrný zůstanu) created for HBO Europe s. r. o. agency 2FRESH as a supporting promotion of a new film drama Hořící keř (Burning Bush) from acclaimed polish director Agnieszka Holland. This project is under the auspices of the Municipality of Prague and its Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda MD.
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.”