'Capricious Summer'

Today in Mailbox we announce the name of the overall winner of Radio Prague's 2007 listeners' contest as well as the runners-up. You can also find out a brand new monthly quiz question.

Welcome to Mailbox. The deadline for your mystery Czech competition answers passed yesterday but I'm afraid you'll have to wait for another week to hear the names of the four lucky winners and indeed, the name of our mystery person.

I have the pleasant duty this week to announce the winners in Radio Prague's annual listeners' competition. If you remember we asked you to answer a simple question: "Which Czech film do you remember most fondly and why?" We received a lot of answers from all over the world which we read with great interest.

Every Radio Prague department chose two finalists. Here are the two from the English section: John Pastier from the United States and Elke Semerad from Canada. Congratulations to both of you - and we shall come back to your answers in a future edition of Mailbox this summer.

Here are the names of eight other listeners to Radio Prague's English broadcasts, whose answers we particularly enjoyed. The names are in alphabetical order: Kristina Fallin from the United States, Marc Goodman from Canada, Brian Kendall from England, Yvonne Kirstein from Canada, Jonathan Murphy from Ireland, Alon Raab from the United States, Ron Richardson from Canada and Janet Ross Snyder also from Canada.

Unlike our monthly, mystery person, quizzes, the annual competition involves all six of Radio Prague's language sections, so the jury always faces a very tough task of choosing one single winner from among the six sections. After much discussion the jury came to its decision and chose:

Klara Pedisic from Croatia who listens to Radio Prague's Czech broadcasts.

Klara, who is from Zagreb, will be coming to Prague later this year, courtesy of the CMC hotel and Sky Europe - the Central European airline.

And here is a short extract from Klara's winning entry:

'Capricious Summer'
"They are showing a series of Czech films in Zagreb at the moment, giving Croatians with an interest in Czech cinematography the chance to watch some of the Czech classics of the 1960s. Among them are the early films of Milos Forman and the works of Jan Kadar, Elmar Klos and Jiri Sequens focusing on World War II. This series has given me the inspiration to answer your question, in particular the moment when I spied the title 'Capricious Summer' ('Rozmarne leto') in the programme. That immediately revived in me the memory of a film which I have seen numerous times and which, with its magical atmosphere, wins me over on every viewing.

"Sometimes watching a film adaptation of a famous novel by a famous author can lead to disillusionment on the part of the viewer. I think, however, that this does not apply when Jiri Menzel is directing. Perhaps he too was at first a bit trepidatious about making a film based on Vancura's book. However, today we have his courage to thank for the existence of this unique piece of cinematic art."

Once again, congratulations to the winner and the runners up and the full transcripts of the winning entries will soon be available in the competition section of our website. Many thanks to all of you who took part this year.

Now, we still have time to quote from one e-mail sent to us by our listener Thomas Brueckner.

"I was just listening to 'The women of Charter 77' from the 5th of January 2007 by Dita Asiedu from your website. I would like to know how to catch the other broadcasts in that series. Have they been archived to Real Player format? I missed the program series in May."

And Thomas goes on to say:

"Back in 1981 I was active in the United Auto Workers in Minnesota, and I remember we sent money to Solidarity in Poland. A few years later, in a weekly Catholic newspaper, I read about Charter 77. I have to say that Charter 77 and Solidarity are like huge signals in my thoughts, drawing the eyes of my mind even now after many years."

Thomas is referring to this report by Dita Asiedu about a Czech Television documentary series devoted to the fates of some of the women signatories of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto. The complete series of the documentaries can be found and watched on Czech Television's website:

Even though I will announce the names of the winners of our monthly competition next week, you can start sending us your answers to our July mystery person quiz as of today.

This time we would like to know the name of the Czech-born psychiatrist and psychologist who was born in Prague in 1931 and is considered to be one of the founders of transpersonal psychology. He devoted his career to exploring altered states of consciousness, first using LSD and later special breathing techniques.

Your answers should reach us by the end of July at the usual address: [email protected]or Radio Prague, 12099, Prague, Czech Republic. Until next week, bye-bye.