‘Why has my shitty life turned out like this? No-one knows. Not even God. God’s on holiday and he’s reading porn’ – an excerpt from Diary of the Forgotten, the journal kept by the main protagonist in the film. With raw authenticity, the director records the luckless fate of René over a period of twenty years as he yo-yos between prison and freedom. The life of René, who successfully stylises himself in the role of a desperado, unfolds against a backdrop of important political events occurring in the Czech Republic and beyond its borders. The Velvet Revolution, the presidential election, 9/11 and the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU - all this is ‘digested’ by René mostly from the confines of various prisons. The film also traces the director’s intriguing relationship with her ‘subject of study’, who sometimes feels like a prostitute selling his life story for filthy lucre, but for whom the visits from the film crew are often his only solace.
Helena Třeštíková studied documentary filmmaking at the Prague Film Academy, FAMU. Since 1974 she has worked as a professional filmmaker, shooting almost fifty documentary films on themes of interpersonal relationships and social problems. In the course of time, she specialised in the longitudinal approach, following people’s life stories on long-term basis. For her film René (2008, screened at 2011 ZagrebDox), she was awarded by the European Film Academy (EFA) the 2008 Prix Arte for Best Documentary Film. Her film Private Universe was awarded with My Generation award at 2013 ZagrebDox. Katka was screened at ZagrebDox 2011, Mallory at 2016 edition. Forman vs. Forman (2019) is her latest film.
2008, 83', color, video
M. Kubala, P. Pešek, S. Slušny, M. Dvorák, O. Belica, M Souček, V. Hamernik
Katerina Černá, Pavel Strnad
Festivals & Awards:
2008 European Film Academy Award; 2008 Prix Arte; Jihlava IFF - Audience Award; 2008 DOK Leipzig - GOLDEN DOVE for the Best International Documentary