New film, written by Jiří Mádl, set to focus on Czechoslovak Radio journalists during 1968 invasion

Jiří Mádl, foto: archive of Czech Radio

A new film depicting the events of the 1968 Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact invasion in Czechoslovak Radio is set to be made within the next two years. The author of the screenplay is the famous Czech artist Jiří Mádl.

Actor, director and screenwriter Jiří Mádl belongs to some of the best known contemporary Czech artists. He is a holder of the Crystal globe award from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and, just last week, received the Czech Lion award for his acting performance in the film Modelář.

Now, Mr. Mádl says that he has finished writing a screenplay for a new film called Vlny (Waves). Set in 1968, the time of the Prague Spring and the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces, the film will focus around Czechoslovak Radio’s foreign service section, the predecessor of today’s Radio Prague International. He revealed more about the film in a recent interview with our colleague Ian Willoughby.

“It is a story of two brothers. The biggest theme of the movie is protecting your beloved during difficult situations. It is based on a true story of a group of journalists in an international news room who were very active during the Prague Spring and broadcast secretly during the occupation by the Soviet Army. They were very active during the Prague spring and broadcast secretly during the occupation.”

August 1968 | Photo: National Museum in Prague,  CC BY-NC 4.0

Mr. Mádl says that a lot of attention will be dedicated to the first half of 1968 which saw the highpoint of the liberalisation of Communist power in the country and, according to the actor, helped forge close relationships within the radio that subsequently helped the individuals find courage during the invasion.

The film is expected to be a mix between a thriller and a drama. The actor says that the associated historical events upon which it is based provide excellent material for a movie.

Background research for the screenplay involved Mr. Mádl visiting the journalists who worked for the foreign service section at the time and scouring Czech Radio’s archives. Himself a student of journalism, Mr. Mádl told Czech Radio that meeting with the actual reporters who were active during the invasion was very exciting.

Filming will also likely take place in the Czech Radio building itself on Prague’s Vinohradská street, according to Mr. Mádl.

The film itself is expected to be finished by 2022 at the latest, when Czech Radio is set to celebrate 100 years of existence.