One of the most powerful documentaries ever made, Oratorio for Prague contains the only footage from the Soviet-led invasion of Prague in 1968. Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Nĕmec (A Report on the Party and the Guests) began filming with the intention to document Prague Spring, a celebration of the newfound liberalization of Czechoslovakia, but the film’s subject took a dramatic turn when Soviet tanks rolled through the streets. The invasion ended Prague Spring, leaving Nĕmec blacklisted and Oratorio for Prague banned. Even so, the film was able to have a profound impact. The raw footage represented the first proof that the Soviet Army had not been “invited” into Czechoslovakia and was used in international news reports, screened to a standing ovation in New York, and was sourced for Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), and featured in Slavoj Žižek and Sophie Fiennes’ The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology.
536MB | 29mn 23s | 704×528 | mkv