Unbreakable and Sacrificed: Film festival highlights brave acts of 20th century resistance

Festival Unbreakable and Sacrificed

A film festival highlighting brave acts of resistance to the Nazi and Communist regimes and the people behind them is currently underway in Prague. Organized by the Museum of 20th Century Memory the festival offers screenings, lectures and debates about the turbulent events of the 20th century.

Now in its third year, the international film festival Unbreakable and Sacrificed, showcases the bravest acts of resistance, but also less well-documented stories that helped shape the course of 20th century history.

This year’s central theme revolves around Operation Anthropoid - the biggest act of anti-Nazi resistance on Czech soil undertaken 80 years ago – as well as the Nazi’s furious punitive backlash on the towns of Lidice and Ležáky. Audiences can view the 1964 film The Assassination by director Jiří Sequens, but also numerous documentaries and even newsreels from 1942 relating to those events.

The festival has also attracted filmmakers from abroad who filmed their own country’s resistance stories. Vít Fojtek from the Museum of 20th Century Memory, says some of the entries draw a clear parallel to Operation Anthropoid:

“We have two Polish films which tell the story of the assassination of the head of the Warsaw  Gestapo Franz Kutschera, who was nicknamed “The Warsaw Executioner” due to his cruelty [Heydrich was nicknamed The Butcher of Prague]. There is a Lithuanian film called “Ash, Tiger and Flame” which describes the fate of three Lithuanian WWII partisans who fought against the Soviet occupation of Lithuania. It will be presented by its director Edita Mildažyté, And there is a Ukrainian film called “Children of the Great Famine” which is a throwback to the artificially induced famine by Stalin in the early 1930s. That will also be presented by its director Snezhana Potapchuk.”

Film director Snezhana Potapchuk, who has 14 films under her belt, has recently been filming on the front in Donbas, Luhansk and also near Crimea.

Among the films being shown are the German documentary Status and Terrain, about the  concentration camps in Saxony for political opponents of the Nazi regime, a documentary about a Slovak women's rights activist executed during the Slovak National Uprising, titled A Woman of a New Era, the Hungarian film Monument to the Murderers, describing the 1945 events in Budapest, and the 1943 British documentary Silent Village inspired by the Lidice massacre.

The festival also features two brand new, previously unseen documentaries: an episode from the Slovak series STB: TOP SECRET, devoted to the subject of political abuse of psychiatry during communism, and a portrait of Karel Šling, the son of one of the communists executed in the Rudolf Slánský trial.

The festival with accompanying lectures, debates and workshops will close on November 12.